BUF Umurage Coffee Washing Station
Here is our only BUF natural of the season. I feel a touch guilty as we have somehow roasted through 3 lots of beautiful washed Rwanda, over the last few weeks without physically having the time to properly articulate and showcase, just how spectacular they are.
A few (6?) years ago we bought the first experimental bags of natural processed coffee from BUF. There were just 5 bags and they were unlike any natural process coffee that we had tasted, up to that point. this was from two stations and the coffee was seductively sweet and complex. Since this milestone, there is now an incredible range of fantastic naturals coming out of both Rwanda and Burundi. There is a lot I could write here, that’s all good and progressive.
There is a small amount of this coffee and it is better than I remembered it.
Rwanda BUF Umurage Mill or CWS (Coffee Washing Station)
Town / City: Kigoma Sector
Region: Huye District, of Southern Province.
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Mill Altitude: 1750 Meters above sea level.
Farms Altitude: 1600-1800 Meters above sea level.
Owner: Epiphanie Mukashyaka
Average Farm Size .4 of a hectare.
Aromatics: Tropical/ Ripe | Body: Light-silky on cooling | Acidity: Sweet/ Curd|
On opening, this is delectably sweet and complex. Straight away, there are blue and white fruit sugars, with a (sorry) p e r f e c t, refreshing curd-like acidity. When the liquor is hot, for me, the finish was initially quite robustly cocoa-esque. On cooling (also known as drinking or tasting temperature!) everything sweetens up. The fruit is somewhere on the dial between fig and black grape and the fruit sugars just keep on coming.
In Espresso: This is an absolute Dream. If you extract a little longer (in time) than we do with coffees like Formula 6 or Simply Brazil. Extractions in the late 20’s to mid-30 seconds work nicely with a 1:2 ratio. eg 17g in 34g out. 93-94C if you can.
If you “do milk” this works with both whole and semi-skimmed. Personally, I think this is more impressive with semi-skimmed.
Roast level: Medium Filter.
Umurage is Buf’s third washing station, alongside Nyarusiza and Remera. In 2003 Buf served less than 500 smallholder farmers. Today Buf serves approximately 7,000 smallholder farms, in the Southern province of Rwanda. Umurage buys cherry from over 400 smallholder farmers and small, local co-operatives. This washing station was built to reduce the burden of travel for producers, with their harvest. Some of them have previously had to travel to Remera or Nyarusiza.
Buf has recently made a new system for the farmers that they work with. With groups between 30 and 60 producers, they are helping them with teaching good agricultural practices, also with a view to preserving the environment. The hope is that this should be transformational, for even better quality in the future.