You don't need to be a child of the 70's to get in on this funk!
This is an exceptional take on a natural anaerobic coffee grown by three farmers on Buhimba Hill. Natural Anaerobic coffees tend to be more unusual, sweet and "funky".
During the Intango process, cherries are placed in sealed traditional clay pots (called Intangos) for 100 hours.
The naturally porous clay is thought to harbour specific microbes from the atmosphere, making Intango even more complex in comparison to an anaerobic-style fermentation performed in non-porous materials such as plastic or stainless steel, which are more commonly used.
For extensive details on how these coffees are processed in low oxygen clay pots, read more below!
This outrageously good coffee is grown by three farmers with neighbouring farms on Buhimba Hill. What makes this even more exciting is that Buhimba Hill is actually an island on Lake Kivu! This means that these growers commute to the island on boats to harvest their cherries and then bring them back to shore to deliver them to washing stations!
Take our word on this, this special coffee is not to be missed! Supplies are limited, so don't delay, get funky today!
ORIGIN + VARIETY: SINGLE ORIGIN - Rwanda + Red Bourbon
TASTING NOTES: blueberry jam + sweet + funky + creamy
PRODUCERS: Ntimurwango, Sylvestre Mugenzi, and Gabriel Uwitonze
FARM: Three smallhold farms working together (average farm size 3.25 hectares)
REGION: Western Province, Rutsiro District, Buhimba Island in Lake Kivu
ALTITUDE: 1550-1900 masl
PROCESS: Intango Natural (Anaerobic) - 100 hour low oxygen whole cherry fermentation in clay pots
SIZE: Collectable 100g tins (limited supply) and 227g bags.
GRIND: This coffee is available in whole bean only as we try and rest this coffee for a minimum of five days before shipping.
More about the Intango Natural Anaerobic processing method:
Always driven towards experimentation of Rwandese coffee, our partners in Rwanda began trialling a proprietary process they called Intango during the 2018 harvest.
The name comes from an ancient Rwandese tradition in which fruit would be fermented in clay jars to create a potent elixir for warriors to consume in small doses prior to battle, as a means of drawing strength. Intango is the traditional name for these specific clay vessels used to brew the beverage.
“This is done with respect for my culture,” Emmanuel, Baho Coffee's owner explains. “I copied some of these methods and used them in fermentation. The use of the Intango pot is the respect to the tradition and materials made in Rwanda.”
First, a day of intensive sorting at the cherry stage, under complete shade, to ensure only the ripest are chosen and any visible defects are removed.
Step two is multiple rounds of floating - filling a large container with cherries and water, discarding the less dense cherries that float to the top of the tank. The densest coffees (sinkers) are reserved to be processed as the higher grade lots, and the less dense coffees (floaters) are mixed in with the rejected cherries from the initial sorting to be processed as lower grade lots.
It’s expected that cherries are delivered to stations, on average, between 2 to 3 hours from picking. The top quality cherries are tightly packed into sealed clay jars where they are left to ferment, undisturbed and under shade, for 100 hours.
The goal here is to create a unique environment in which the cherries have very
limited interaction with oxygen. As fermentation takes place, carbon dioxide is released and progressively pushes oxygen out of the clay jars. The particular environment created changes both the rate of fermentation and the specific yeast and bacteria present.
The low oxygen environment coupled with the unique material of the fermentation vessel combine to drastically change the flavours imparted into the seed. The Intango fermentation promotes high intensity and complexity of fruit flavours and sweetness in the coffee.
Once this fermentation period is complete, the cherries are immediately turned out onto drying beds. The goal is for cherries to be a single layer on the beds, maximum 2 - 4 cm of depth. For the first 5 days, the coffee is turned every hour. From day 5 to day 20, coffee is turned every 2 hours. From day 20 - 50, the coffee and ambient temperature are strictly monitored to keep the rate of drying slow and controlled.
Temperature is recorded throughout the day - if it exceeds certain thresholds, workers will focus on turning coffee more frequently or cover the beds with mesh netting. In more rare cases, if the temperature exceeds extremely high thresholds, entire beds will sometimes be relocated under complete shade for a few days. This focus on extremely thin layers, coupled with frequent turning and temperature monitoring, is to ensure that the flavours remain clean and free from over-fermentation or mold defects.
When the moisture content reaches 11.0%, the drying phase is considered complete. The dried cherry is bagged and stored in a dry warehouse until time for milling. Total drying times for intango processed coffee is between 50 - 55 days.
More about Baho Coffee (who oversees the washing stations, and directly supports the farrmers, we source from in Rwanda):
“Baho’s vision on community is guided by having a synergetic relationship with the
community of farmers that we work with, where we guide them and create solutions
in a replicable, sustainable and scalable manner leading to economic growth and
poverty reduction. Our overall vision is implied by the meaning of our name, Baho,
which in our local language means live/life. It is like a tree that grows up and has
branches, flowers and fruits and still keeps its roots in the ground. Baho is born,
grows up and sells coffee both locally and internationally and never forgets the
- Emmanuel Rusatira, Owner Baho Coffee
It's hard not to be inspired by Emmanuel's genuine curiosity and passion for quality coffee
and experimentation. At a handful of his washing stations he is not only producing extremely clean natural processed coffees, but also pushing the experimental boundaries of the fermentation process (all very rare for Rwanda!).
Furthermore, Emmanuel is impressively proactive with education and outreach. He works closely with producers year round, and ensures they paid well above the national average of Rwanda, in addition to the bonuses paid to farmers in order to circumvent limits imposed by the government. We are so proud to be in business with Emmanuel and call him a friend.
- ESPRESSO: If wanting to pull this natural coffee as an espresso, we recommend experimentation. Try a 1:3 ratio, and grind a litter finer for a longer shot.
- POUR OVER: For a V60, we recommend grinding fine-medium for this roast, 2-3 pours (post bloom). We use a 1:15 for a real velvety cup, or a 1:16/1:17 for a more rounded cup. And this coffee can take some heat off boil.
- FRENCH PRESS: We recommend the James Hoffman method for French press: 1:16.67 ratio // medium grind (not too coarse) // add water, do not stir, brew for 4 minutes // after 4 mins break crust gently, scoop everything off that floats // let sit for another 5-8 minutes // don't press all the way, only use it as a filter at the surface of the brew.
- ICED COFFEE: Perfect as a funky and wild pour over flash freeze brew. Use large cocktail ice, lower your brewing ratios and then prepare as you usually would (with the option of adding a bit less water)!
Thank you as always to our partners at www.Semilla.com for a lot of the information and images contained on this page!