Tumba has been a coffee on my radar for years. When I first tasted it, the sweetness and bright acidic snap in the cup made a great impression. But at the time I noticed varied quality from one cup to the next, and a lack of consistency can mean problems in the processing. For a coffee buyer, it signifies that what you taste now might not be what you get upon importation. The backstory at the time was Tumba Station was a private processing wet mill that had 2 owners with very different ideas of quality and how to run a mill. Fast forward 5 years, and we found ourselves purchasing Tumba for the first time under a different light. A local teacher in the Tumba area for which the mill is named, had taken over all aspects, and the coffee was consistent in every cup … and amazingly good! Venustre Mugraneza, the teacher, is esteemed in the local community and has been systematically improving the mill. The best coffee cherries (those that make up this lot) are dried in a special area of raised beds and receive focused handpicking by the farmers. Tumba is situated at 1825 meters in the Rulindo district, where we also source our excellent Cocatu Cooperative lots.
The dry fragrance has an orange spice smell, laced with raw sugary sweetness, and a lovely clove accent. A deep caramely sweetness blossoms in the wet aroma and comes off like a mix of sugars browning in a pan and pressed cane juice, along with sweet baking spice accents. The brewed coffee has a flavor of sweetened black tea, replete with a brisk lemon-like accent note that also defines Tumba’s acidic impression. Fruited hints are revealed as the coffee cools a bit, notes of orange, raisin, and some subtle darker fruits as well. The finish at City and City+ also has a tannic affect, which lends to “tea” impressions as well. Tumba’s sweetness holds up to darker roast levels too, producing delicious dark chocolate roast tones, with cinnamon stick, Medjool date, grape, and finishing notes of whole clove and cinnamon stick. Full City roasts make a sweet, and chocolate-laden espresso shot too, mouthfeel the weight of soy milk, and fruit/spice flavor note that reminds me of Dr. Pepper.