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Plantation mill: Kilimbi
Altitude: 1600 – 1850 masl
Flavor profile: blackberry jam, elderberry, lime
The Kilimbi washing station design and processing lend well to produce clean and homogeneous coffee. Through the station’s thorough washing practices the outcome is some of the best specialty coffee we’ve found in Rwanda.
All cherry is hand-sorted before a pre-pulp float and under-ripe or damaged cherry are removed. Cherry is then put in pre-pulping tanks, removing any floaters and later pulped. Next, coffee is fermented in dedicated concrete fermentation tanks. During this time the ferment parchment is agitated several times through the day by way of ceremonial foot stomping. After fermentation, coffee is released into a large serpentine grading channel. This is a moving channel of water that allows any floaters to be discarded. This process also separates parchment into different density grades. The highest density grade, A1, is trapped by submerged gates early on in the serpentine, where lower density coffee is allowed to pass through.
Eventually, we end up with three grades A1 and A2, which sell as specialty coffee and A3/A4 grades which usually sell into the commercial market. There is no difference in quality between A1 and A2 grades, only density. During the washing process, parchment is constantly
agitated to encourage lower density parchment to float and to clean any residual mucilage from the parchment.
Once the parchment is separated into grades, it is given a final post wash rinse. At this point, coffee is then taken to a pre-drying area where the parchment is hand-sorte removing any insect damaged, discoloured or chipped coffee. Finally, parchment is laid out to dry and turned on a regular basis throughout the day. With all processing methods, coffee is covered during the day if the day time temperatures get too hot.
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