My Cherry Amour (Natural): Light Roast (SO)
A coffee that's ethical, fruity and named after a Stevie Wonder song? What else could you need?
This is a natural processed coffee. Most coffees are washed coffees, which tend to provide more bright, acidic flavours. Natural coffees tend to be more unusual, sweet and "funky". They often provide a heavier mouthfeel and fuller body, with sweet and delicate aromas and notes.
One of the defining characteristics of a natural coffee is an overwhelming berry flavour, since the coffee seed (bean) is dried while still within the cherry.
ORIGIN + VARIETY: SINGLE PRODUCER - Rwanda + Red Bourbon
TASTING NOTES: strawberries & cream + caramel
PRODUCERS: Afrodis Gahonzire, Azitha Urwijumukondo, Athanase Fatisuka, Gratien Nkejuwimy, and Froduard Rusingizandekwe.
FARM: Five smallholder farms working together (average farm size 0.5 hectares)
REGION: Bushekeri Sector, Nyamasheke District, Western Province
ALTITUDE: 1535-1900 masl
SIZE: Available in 227g and 340g bags.
GRIND: Whole Bean, Filter, French Press and Espresso/Moka Pot.
More about the producers:
This natural coffee comes to us from our dear pals at Baho Coffee. This coffee was grown by five producers, one of whom is Afrodis Gahonzire, the manager of the Akagera Washing Station on Lake Kivu, where this coffee is processed. In addition to Afrodis’ coffee, Red Bourbon coffee from four other neighbouring farmers were delivered and processed together to make this small lot.
Due to the high demand for cherry in this area, with sparser growing and serious competition, due to significant downturn in overall production across Rwanda, all coffees purchased from Akagera station received a farmgate price (price paid to the farmer) that was 50% above the nationally mandated farmgate price.
This kind of small lot traceability is not common in Rwanda, but thanks to our partners at Baho Coffee and Semilla Coffee, things are starting to change in that direction! These five producers were also paid a bonus as a result of increasing this traceability and the added work involved in doing so.
More about the processing method:
This is a naturally processed coffee, which involves spreading the harvested cherries out on drying beds for several weeks with the fruit and skin still intact. The washed process is more common and involves removing the skin of the cherries (known as depulping) before submerging them in water to break down and remove the mucilage (sticky layer around the seed).
At the Akagara Washing Station, their natural process includes first, quality control via hand sorting and floating. The good quality cherries selected in this process are stored in bags for 12 hours, allowing the mucilage to stick to the bean.
Cherries are then turned out on to drying tables the following morning, with no more
than 150kg being placed on each table and the cherries are stacked no thicker than
2 to 4 cm depending on the weather.
For the first 5 days, the cherries are turned every hour, while from day 5 to 20, the
coffee are turned every two hours. At the 20th day, the cherries are assessed and if
the weather is hot, they are covered for three to five days, and this process is
repeated until the 45-50th day.
In general, naturals are left to dry for between 50-53 days across all washing stations operated by Baho Coffee. And that's why it's the best!
More about Baho Coffee (who oversees the washing stations we work with 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.
- 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 to our partners at www.Semilla.com for the information contained on this page!