Bean: Red Bourbon, Single Estate, Experimental.
Shop: Smit & Dorlas, Webshop, The Netherlands
For many of you the name Smit & Dorlas will conjure up the image of coffee that is served in many bars and restaurants. Smit & Dorlas, however, also have a specialty coffee line that harvests some great coffees. Today I will tell you all about their Rwanda Red Bourbon.
Smit & Dorlas – Rwanda: Background information:
The coffee that I am reviewing for you is the Smit & Dorlas ‘Rwanda Red Bourbon’. This coffee is a single estate coffee which means that all of the beans comes from a single estate. The coffee is a Red Bourbon and has undergone an experimental process. This red bourbon was grown on an altitude between 1700m and 2000m in the region of Gakenke, Rwanda.
The most interesting about this coffee is that it comes from the Rushashi Washing Station in Rwanda. This washing station is founded by the Abakundakawa coffee producer cooperative in 1999. In the year 2007 this cooperative became an officially recognised cooperative and now has over 2000 member farmers. Abakundakawa hosts two women empowerment organisations that were founded by women who survived the genocide horror in the past and had lost their husbands because of that same genocide. Being forced to provide for their families and many orphaned children, these brave women took matters into their own hands and managed to set up this successful cooperative.
The Rushashi washing station has the facilities to roast and cup samples on site and employs a full range of organic processing methods. Recently they were opting for an official ‘Organic’ label.
Smit & Dorlas – Rwanda: Opening the package
The package of is simple beige with a zip-lock and a de-gassing valve. The information on the package tells you a lot about the coffee such as the washing station used, altitude and process. When opening the package a clear and soft aroma comes off of the beans. A tea like fragrance and a soft fruitiness comes off clearly. When I start to eat a bean I already know that the quality of this coffee is going to be amazing. A full flavour of tea, roses and Jasmine appears in my mouth and is super refreshing! I cannot wait to brew this coffee. I start grinding and the scent of soft floral notes and sweetness fills the room.
Smit & Dorlas – Rwanda: The tasting
I did not take me long to realise that this coffee tastes great with 16 grams, 18 grams and even 20 grams. The brew finishes and I use a spoon to push away the crema. The scent comes forth and tropical fruits mingle with Jasmine and a hint of roses. For a moment I think of lychee and passion fruit but it is gone just as quickly. I take a sip and swirl the coffee in my mouth. A superbly balanced flavour pallet caresses my tongue and for a moment I have to really focus on what I am tasting. While the coffee is still hot it is like a perfumed jasmine and roses coffee that is accompanied with overripe orange and tropical fruits. There is a little surprise when the coffee cools down a bit; a soft honey flavour and a hint of caramel peeks around the corner and gives the coffee another push towards greatness. The mouthfeel is silky and with the citric medium acidity and medium body makes for a very pleasant brew. The aftertaste changes over time from floral jasmine to a soft honey flavour.
Smit & Dorlas – Rwanda: The verdict.
This is one of those coffees that you could review every day. It starts with the outspoken taste of the bean and ends with the soft aftertaste that just lingers on and on. The floral notes of this coffee are balanced nicely with the notes of tropical fruits and the acidity is not too high on the tongue. What more can you say that has not already been said in the review? Smit & Dorlas (by This Side Up Coffee) have roasted a great coffee that you should drink while enjoying the sunshine of early spring. Keep an eye out for the filter roast review of this coffee.
PS: Fortunately this coffee is available to Consumers and businesses alike. Smit & Dorlas have more single estate coffees on sale. Just check out their website for more info.