This coffee comes from Kazoza N’Ikawa, roughly translating to “the future is coffee”. The cooperative assists members with marketing their coffees, handling cash flow, agronomical support, general business organization, and record keeping. This association has 57 stations in total operating in the Kayanza district of Rwanda. Hand sorting is intensive, and farm workers start sifting out under and over ripe cherry on delivery. Sorting of the parchment coffee continues at the drying tables, and then the green coffee is sifted through once again after dry-milling. This is the second year purchasing coffee from this group, an impressive return from last year’s coffee. They produce both washed and naturally processed coffees, this being a wet-processed lot that was bulked together from several day lot selections. Bourbon is the dominant cultivar in the region (as is the case in most of Burundi), a variety known for syrupy sweetness when grown in high altitudes. It’s also a dense bean, especially when grown at high altitudes, which the farms in this area are. The process site is located right around 1800 meters and farms reach upwards of 2000 meters.
What a lovely smelling coffee. Kazoza N’Ikawa is perfumed in City and City+ roasts, a sugar browning sweetness along with a mix of rosewater and spiced orange accents. The wetted grounds are caramely sweet, that along with a dried fruit note, gives off a scent of caramel cookies with raisins. City roasts brew nicely, delicious spice notes up front, along with a compound of raw sugar flavors offering more than enough backing sweetness. A compromise is often made when light roasting, trading out developed sweetness for acidity and complexity. But this isn’t the case with Kazoza N’Ikawa and I found the level of sweetness in light roasting surpassed that of my Full City roast. Flavors of raw sugarcane juice, underpin top notes of dried apple note, lemon zest and cinnamon stick. Acidity really pops at this roast level with flavor and mouthfeel akind to lemonade. Brewing my Full City roasting brings out heavy dark chocolate roast tones and dark fruited accent notes, leaving a lasting impression in the long finish. Kazoza N’Ikawa is so sweet and complex from as light as City and on up to Full City roast levels, and those patient enough to let cool will be duly rewarded.