Tumba has been a coffee on my radar for years, we’ve had several Rulindo coffees over time, but not this group. When I first tasted it, the sweetness and bright acidic snap in the cup made a great impression. The historic backstory was that the 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 sourced our previous Cocatu Cooperative lots.
This lot from Tumba shows candied sweetness in the cup, a beautiful profile of fruit and tea flavors, and brilliant acidity that offers amazing structure to the complex cup character. The dry fragrance is laced with sweet berry smells, spiced accents of clove and cardamom, and layered raw sugar sweetness. The wet grounds smell so sweet, like lighter caramel that is near floral, butterscotch also comes to mind, and while fruited accents are still present, they aren’t the focal point at this stage. The (Drip/Press) brewed coffee is incredibly clean and clear, profile flavors are crisp and succinct. Berry notes come into view as you move through the cup, raspberry iced tea, and sweetened dried cranberries. A subtle tangerine note comes through in City roasts, and at City+ there’s a mingling of fresh and dried fruit flavors that accent the cup, like juicing oranges and black currant. Tumba has a sweet finish, with a mix of chocolate and citrus sensed in the long aftertaste, along with a tannic black tea flavor. Tumba’s sweetness holds up to darker roast levels too, Espresso roasts producing delicious dark chocolate roast tones, with cinnamon and chicory spice notes in the long finish.