To coincide with the launch of our latest coffee beans, we put some questions to our head roaster Grey to find out more about them.
Why roast coffee beans from Rwanda?
Rwanda is not a large coffee producer, but it does produce very high-grade coffee beans. They were outputting around 220,000 bags of coffee in 2016. Almost all of this is red bourbon coffee beans grown at high altitudes. We like high altitudes because the ‘difficulties’ that the bushes face whilst developing causes sweetness and density in the beans. The result is a top-notch coffee flavour. More density though, means you need more energy when roasting to get them just right.
How do you go about roasting Rwandan coffee?
Roasting Rwanda coffee beans, like other African coffee, requires a higher charge temperature and more consistent application of heat. I noticed this with a batch where the rising temperature rate dropped alarmingly when the burners switched off. That’s the roasting process; a constant learning curve. I’ve been trying some new approaches to roasting Rwanda coffee beans to make the most of their inherent sweetness and wonderful fruitiness; such as stretching out the development time and developing some more body in the coffee.
How would I drink a Rwanda?
I love a Rwandan coffee in my cafetiere at home, freshly roasted, freshly ground and measured carefully: 42g for 700ml of water. When just freshly ground it fills the kitchen with the most amazing aroma. I’m a big fan of the cafetiere, it is a really lovely way to make fresh homebrewed coffee.
Why did you choose a gorilla for the new label?
Silverback gorillas are native to Rwanda, but they are on the endangered animals list. There are only about 1000 living in the wild. We feel inspired to give something extra back to the countries where we source our coffee. So for each new label we have decided to donate 5% of sales profit to help protect wildlife and plant species from the respective countries. We are starting with the Dian Fossey organisation because of the great work they are doing to look after these amazing gorillas and their habitat. I urge you to have look at their website here