Out of Africa… Tanzania and Rwanda
Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
I am in the final preparations for a trip to Tanzania and a trek up to the Mondul Farm to see their harvest in full swing. I am honored to have seen harvesting in many coffee growing regions over the years, but this will be the first time in East Africa. There is nothing like the baskets of coffee cherries coming in for milling to really understand and appreciate a particular origin and, in this case, farm. Mondul Farm is located on the slopes of Mondul Mountain in the heartland of the Maasai people. The coffee is shade grown with a natural mountain spring water source. This year we purchased their entire Peaberry crop (two beans grow together forming one bean for an intense, citrus-y flavor profile) and we will be looking to secure the same in 2013. I love this coffee both as a brew by the cup with a Hario filter and even as single origin espresso.
The trip continues with the 2012 Rwanda Cup of Excellence, where I will be one of the International Judges determining their best coffee of the year. The Rwandan coffee industry has experienced a roller coaster ride over the past several years. International aid organizations and large multi-national roasters, all with good intentions, seemed to “pull” Rwanda around in a multitude of directions. They are finally settling down and understanding the importance of diversifying their international customer base for the long-term health of an improving coffee sector. The preview tasting (cupping) of the coffees has been very highly touted as the best ever. The week of judging will include getting out into the “land of a thousand hills” to see how their coffee is rising in quality and consistency.
This will be my third trip to Rwanda, the first 10 years after the genocide. It is always a remarkable experience and privilege to visit this extraordinary country.
I look forward to sharing the experience, and the coffee, with you upon my return.
As always, thank you for entrusting Cravens Coffee to source and roast your specialty coffee,