Candied Ginger, Berry Compote, Grape Candy, Yogurt Creaminess

Let's play a sci-fi hypothetical: imagine that Rwanda was transplanted to South America. Its neighbors were no longer Ethiopia or Kenya; instead, it borrowed sugar from places like Peru and Bolivia. The effect of that relocation—among others of far greater consequence—would be a massive increase in attention from the specialty coffee world. For years Rwanda has been robbed of the credit it deserves. In Affleck terms Rwanda is Casey. Ethiopia is Ben. (Boy, is that an ill-fitting analogy). It's time we coffee snobs adjust our lens.

Kanzu is probably the most acclaimed washing station in the whole of Rwanda. Nestled against the sprawling Nyungwe national forest, it enjoys a misty microclimate that slows cherry maturation and protects coffee from climate swings. Cherries mature later than most Rwandan lots and are the last harvests of the season. That's why Kanzu has been hitting home runs in competitions dating back to the The Golden Cup, a predecessor to the Cup of Excellence. There's really only one importer that has it, and bags get snatched up well before they land stateside.

The cup here is sparkly clean for a natural, pure fruit and flavor. Kanzu is known for a signature candied ginger note, and that guy peacocks through the entire temp range. It's a delicious, unusual tone, and it matches perfectly with the fruit. Grape candy stands out. Berry compote. The combination of the two expresses the sweet and tannic poles of fruitiness. The whole cup is bound by a lactic quality that adds yogurt-like heft. It's just delicious. One sip of the stuff makes clear why Kanzu is so sought-after, and why all of us coffee snobs ought to be paying more attention to output from Rwanda.