One 12 oz. compostable Biotre bag.
New new new! Fugi represents many firsts for all parts of the supply chain. This coffee is the product of a brand new relationship with a company only in its first year of production. Furthermore, it’s from a coffee producing country that we have never purchased from before and has been imported into the United States for the first time ever! This is the first of two releases from different washing stations - both owned and operated by Baho Coffee.
After 15 years of experience managing washing stations throughout Rwanda, Emmanuel Rusatira and his family decided to branch out and start their own operations. Now the Rusatira family can freely focus all of their energy towards implementing their own philosophies and pushing high quality protocols with 6 different stations. Coffee production in Rwanda works very similarly to Ethiopia - thousands of smallholder farmers deliver cherry to centralized processing stations. At these stations, like Fugi, the coffees are fully processed (washed, natural, or honey) and dried on raised beds. Emmanuel is impressively proactive with education and outreach. He works closely with the farmers year round - distributing seedlings, educating on proper growing and picking techniques, giving loans for infrastructure or quality of life investments, and generally being a positive force in the community and friend to all. We are continually inspired by Emmanuel's genuine curiosity and intense passion for quality and experimentation. At a handful of stations he is not only producing very clean natural and honey processed coffees, but also pushing the experimental boundaries of the fermentation process (all very rare for Rwanda!).
The Fugi washing station is located in the Southern Province of Rwanda, nestled between the Nyungwe National Forest and the border of Burundi. This was the first station purchased by the Rusatira family in 2017. The washed process here is very intensive and no doubt paves the way for the clean and vibrant flavors found in these coffees. After depulping, the coffee undergoes a 12 hour dry (no water) fermentation, pressure washing, 12 hour wet (under water) fermentation, pressure washing, and finally, a trip through the grading channels to be sorted by density. Now, when the mucilage is totally removed, a soak in another clean water tank for 12 more hours and off to the drying tables. Emmanuel’s drying processes are also unique in that total times are purposefully extended to ensure slow and even drying. This means a much more stable seed and results in the coffee tasting fresher for longer once they reach us here in the US. Using a combination of full sun and shaded shelters, drying times at Fugi are around 30 days in total.
We couldn’t be more excited to share this coffee with the world! We’re happy to call Emmanuel our friend and can’t wait to see where this relationship will take us. The coffee from Fugi is simultaneously complex and sweet, making it super fun but still highly approachable. The body is big and full of syrupy maple and brown sugar sweetness. Meanwhile, the acidity is lively and citric. We’re tasting: chocolate covered raisins, brown sugar, brown spice, black tea, coconut, prune, fig, plum, orange, lime.
* The Potato Defect - This particular defect is known to be a natural occurrence in many central African coffees, particularly those from Rwanda and Burundi. To quickly answer your first question - no, it actually has nothing to do with the root vegetable. It has acquired the name because coffees with this defect smell and taste almost identically to raw potatoes! Once upon a time, it was so widespread that specialty coffee buyers wouldn’t have even considered purchasing coffees from this area. Over the past decade, however, huge strides have been made by research institutes and coffee producers to reduce the occurrence. Though we might never be able to confirm that each lot is 100% free of the defect, meticulously processing has certainly minimized it’s frequency so that it is very rare. If you do come across the defect at home, you’ll almost certainly smell it coming. When grinding a coffee from Rwanda and you’re immediately hit with the distinct fragrance of a freshly peeled potato - don’t panic! If the defect is present, it will only be in certain seeds and not widespread throughout the entire bag. Simply toss those grinds in the trash and try brewing again! You’ll soon be rewarded with a beautifully sweet and complex cup of coffee that will make you forget all about that pesky potato.