“When a person moves to their own kind of clock, spirit, flow, you’re always in congress with yourself. The challenge is, how does the congress around you accept you? How does royalty stomp around in the mud and still walk with grace? Most people are afraid to be as honest as she lived."
-Attallah Shabazz, friend of Nina Simone
Nina Simone is arguably the greatest vocalist who ever lived. And she performed as she lived. Passionate. Emotional. And sometimes erratic, but in a way, erratically brilliant. Later in her life, she was down and out in Paris, (as so many artists before and after her had been), playing to empty jazz bars, going as far as asking people on the street to watch her shows. And we are talking about one of the most brilliant performers to grace this earth.
It was during this period that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, rather late in life. With medication and therapy she rightfully retook her place as musical royalty and once again experienced sold out crowds and successful albums. This coffee is dedicated to her brilliance and to the brilliance and experiences of everyone living with mental illness.
This is an exceptional take on a natural anaerobic coffee grown by three farmers. Natural Anaerobic coffees tend to be more unusual, sweet and "funky".
During the process, cherries are placed in sealed, oxygen depleted barrels for up to 100 hours.
Fans of our Funky Fruits coffee will love this coffee, we promise. As they are very similar, this one is just cleaner and funkier and ever so slightly less sweet and jammy.
This outrageously good coffee is grown by three farmers with neighbouring farms on Ntumba Island.
ORIGIN + VARIETY: SINGLE ORIGIN - Rwanda + Red Bourbon
TASTING NOTES: ripe strawberries + sweet + funky +delicate
PRODUCERS: Mberabahizi Joseph + Munyankiko Victor + Nyirangendahimana Marie,
FARM: Three smallholder farms working together (average farm size 0.35 hectares)
REGION: Western Province, Rutsiro District, Ntumba Island
ALTITUDE: 1700 -1900 masl
PROCESS: Natural Anaerobic) - 100 hour low oxygen whole cherry ferment in sealed vessels.
SIZE: 125g, 227g and 340g bags
GRIND: whole bean, filter, espresso/moka pot
More about the Natural Anaerobic processing method:
Always driven towards experimentation of Rwandese coffee, our partners in Rwanda are keen to try and perfect various processing methods.
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 vessels 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.
The low oxygen environment drastically change the flavours imparted into the seed. The natural anaerobic 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 this 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!