Rwanda Gkongoro Nyarusiza

We sample roasted this lovely coffee from Rwanda to four different levels on Thursday and cupped it this morning. Everyone knows that roasted coffee tastes way better after a few days of resting right? So, it is always crucial to think ahead when we are targeting roasts. Derek and I agreed that the middle two roasts were much better than the lightest and darkest roasts. It just so happened that the darkest roast clearly contained a bean with the dreaded potato defect and the whole cup tasted like drinking coffee through a paper towel roll, gross. Rwanda coffees sometimes contain this type of defect and if you brew up a cup at whatever level roast with a defective bean look out, you'll need a palate readjustment afterwards.   The two middle roasts that we liked were incredible with the sweet and sour fruit notes Tom mentions in the review. What I liked about the second lightest roast was the fruit and finish and what Derek like about the second darkest roast was the bittersweet and berry. So, to achieve the best of both roasts I targeted the final roast temp. at 438. The first batch was almost exactly the same color (after grinding, of course) as the darker roast so I dialed it back to 436 for the remaining five batches. Total roast time clocked in at a whopping 17:50 for this dense coffee. It doesn't really expand as much as some other coffees and ends up looking a little blotchy, but we know this isn't a beauty contest, it's all about taste. Speaking of taste, I mentioned at the top of this post how roasted coffee can really change over the span of a few days and this applies particularly to the light roasted coffee we often offer up to our customers. Patience is more than a virtue when it comes to home roasting, it is a necessity to truly enjoy the fruits of your labor. Tom was gone all last week in Guatemala and when he returned he remarked how some of the coffees he'd cupped in a marathon of sample roasting last Saturday tasted this Saturday, some of them were so much better after even a full week of resting. Now, we all know you can't wait too long, then you've got stale coffee and missed the window. But next time you do some roasting try keeping some around for as much as four or five days and notice how the taste changes over that time period. Fresh is just a word, don't get hung up on drinking things too soon, you will be missing out on whole worlds of flavor.

9-11 minute sounds good. i

9-11 minute sounds good. i can roast as fast as 5 minutes or as slow as 18 in my sample roaster. its never exactly the same as the larger roaster but you can extrapolate the differences with some experience...


Do you have recommendations

Do you have recommendations for sample roasting? I have been trying to target 9-11 minute roasts. Thanks.

it's something found more

it's something found more often than not in Rwanda coffees and it is due to a type of fungus, perhaps instigated by some damage to the seed by a berry borer type insect. The bugs is long gone and the fungus isn't dangerous - it just results in this very specific aroma and taste of uncooked, earthy potato. by the way, this coffee had not reached it's potential the first 2 days we cupped the roast from the Probat. By Thursday and Friday it was really opening up and showing complexity. -tom

What is the 'potato defect'?

What is the 'potato defect'? Sounds gross!