Ep. 804 Rwanda: Mehembe, Murundo Farm

Milk chocolate, white grape, rhubarb sweets.

Our Green Coffee Buyer, Roland, was invited to take part on the Jury of a coffee competition in late 2021 - Second Sunrise: A Taste of Rwanda. Organised by the Coffee Exporters and Processors Association of Rwanda (CEPAR), it was done remotely, with a National Jury selecting 34 coffees which were among the very best Rwanda had to offer from this harvest. The International Judges had roasted samples of these sent out and all cupped them before compiling scores – a tough task when the judges were spread all over the world in different time zones!

During the cupping, two washed lots stood out at the top and Roland scored them over 90 points each– representing truly exceptional coffees among the very best in the world. Both were equally good, but also showcased different elements of Rwanda’s unique flavour profile. The competition was done blind, but when the information was revealed for these two exceptional lots, they turned out to be from two Washing Stations both owned by Mahambe Coffee.

They also, unfortunately, ended up getting cut from the auction which followed the competition due to a judge reporting Potato Defect in a bowl of these coffees. Having found an amazing coffee producer, we didn’t want to miss out on them and after some quick calls managed to arrange to buy the two lots outside the auction process.

We’re excited we could secure his favourite lots for you, but we’re even more excited about the potential Mahembe demonstrates with these and what that might bring in the future.

Mahembe is a family-owned company, founded by Justin Musabyimana in 2010.

Justin grew up in the local area and after 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, he decided to come back home and invest in the community by building a wet mill on his father’s coffee plantation. He has a 10-hectare farm of his own, and buys cherries from the surrounding smallholders. Justin’s organized operations, plus the work he is doing on the ground to improve quality, gives great results in the cup. Mahembe operates 2 washing station in western region of Rwanda

Their vision is to become a regional leader in terms of coffee quality and consistently differentiating themselves by delivering the best product through a completely sustainable and transparent value chain that significantly contributes to the better lives of farmers.

This elegant and refined cup opens with creamy milk chocolate. A clean and fresh white grape note brings balance, whilst the aftertaste slips softly into the flavour of a rhubarb and custard sweet

  • Country: Rwanda
  • Region: Western Province
  • District: Karongi
  • Sector: Twumba
  • Farm: Murundo
  • Size: 13 hectares
  • Altitude: 1,980 - 2,100 m.a.s.l.
  • Varietals: Red Bourbon
  • Processing method: Washed

Tasting notes: Milk chocolate, white grape, rhubarb sweets.

Cup of Excellence Cupping Scores

  • Clean cup: (1–8): 6.5
  • Sweetness: (1–8): 6.5
  • Acidity: (1–8): 6.5
  • Mouthfeel: (1–8): 6
  • Flavour: (1–8): 6.5
  • Aftertaste: (1–8): 6
  • Balance: (1–8): 6.5
  • Overall: (1–8): 6.5
  • Correction:(+36): +36
  • Total (max. 100): 87

Roast Information
Medium - keep the pace steady and you want to get to the very end of the gap, maybe with a couple of pops of second as it cools, no more.