About Kanzu Lot 15
We first encountered Kanzu in 2007 when Red Fox CEO and co-founder Aleco Chigounis tasted it at the Golden Cup competition, a predecessor to COE. The coffee was incredible, but the prior owners were having financial struggles that led to inconsistent supply season to season. Aleco reached out to Dormans, who had recently started working in the area, and they were able to purchase the washing station in 2009. We’ve bought Kanzu every year since, and a few years ago we began to make it our sole source of Rwanda volume.
One thing that feels special about Kanzu is that unlike other washing stations which are fairly accessible from the roads, Kanzu doesn’t have road access. So, you drive all the way up a winding road to a town called Gatare, then hike the rest of the way.
The station is nestled against a huge national forest called Nyungwe, so it’s protected for biodiversity and from deforestation. The forest collects cloud cover, generating a special misty microclimate that slows cherry maturation and protects the coffee from climate extremes. It’s right above Lake Kivu and the view looks down on the watershed, all the way down to the lake itself. Kanzu is on the downslope right below this forest, at an extremely high elevation, and we’ve always seen how the climate plays a huge role in the flavor development of these coffees. The cherries here ripen a lot later than most of the country and are frequently one of the last harvests of the season.