On this page we always post what coffees we have in store. Since we buy coffees that are offered in-season, the house blend BlackJack and filter coffees always change. This is what makes our coffees so interesting because you always get something different. Stop by often and be surprised by our offerings. All coffees are also for sale at the shop so you can take it home with you and experiment with it.
Since January 2016, we roast our own coffees. We started with a 1kg roaster but demand made us decide that we changed to a Giesen W6-A. We now roast all our coffee ourselves in The Big Building, a co-op community building behind Groningen’ Central Station. However, the capacity of the greens is limited so we still order small batches of greens from Caffenation. All these coffees are available in the cup and in the bag for you to take home!
Black & Bloom Roasts
Macuba washing station
Macuba washing station lies deep in the south of Rwanda, close to the border with Burundi, right next to the Nyungwe natural forest. The Nyamasheke region is famous for its high potential in coffee production. Many of the best Rwandese coffees are produced here, like the intense and fruity coffees from Nyakizu washing station that we also brought to Antwerp. It shares many features with the reputed Kayanza province in Burundi. High altitude and rich clay soils in a favorable climate with plenty of rainfall in marked seasons. The sandy clay soil in the region is more acidic than in other parts of Rwanda and has a rich topsoil with a lot of organic matter.
Harvest takes place mainly in the rainy season from March to June. Coffee producers will take the cherries from their lots to the centralized washing station for processing. Here, they receive payment according to the quality and quantity they deliver. Macuba has strong quality standards in place to separate the good from the bad coffees. Through flotation in water and a visual cherry inspection, the quality team removes those cherries that would affect the quality.
This lot is a classic washed Bourbon. The quality team at the station pre-sorts the cherries through flotation and visual sorting on ripeness. The approved cherries are collected in the cherry hopper. The depulping machine mechanically removes the cherry skin and some of the mucilage. To fully remove this mucilage, the parchment ferments in tanks for around 12 hours. The fermentation time varies with the season. Temperatures are lower at the start of the season, so it takes more time to break down the mucilage.
Next, the washing team pushes the coffee through the washing and grading channel. This separates the parchment in 4 grades, from the heaviest, highest quality to lights and floaters. The parchment remains separate per quality throughout the rest of the process. This lot from Macuba washing station consists of the heaviest parchment quality only. All coffee that receives this quality tag passes through an additional 24-soaking before being carried out to the drying field. The quality team performs an extra visual check on wet parchment. It is easy to detect defect beans when the parchment is still wet.
Macuba uses waist height, flat drying tables and trays made of wood and mesh screens to dry the coffee. This method enables to naturally and gradually remove the moisture from the coffee bean down to 12% using the natural air flows from above and below the raised tables and trays. The parchment will dry on these beds for two weeks.
When the parchment has dried down, it is stored in Macuba’s own storage room until Rwacof sends trucks to pick up the coffee. Rwacof is the company that manages and supports Macuba washing station. Rwacof takes further care of marketing and selling the coffee, as well as preparing it for export in their own dry mill.
Sometimes, great coffees find Trabocca, instead of us finding them. Every year, we receive thousands of samples at the Trabocca office in Amsterdam. In December 2013, during a blind cupping, we found this washed Yirgacheffe from a small washing station in the Kochere region. The coffee stood out because of its pronounced aroma of peach, mango, and other stone-fruits. That same season, a partnership was established with Faysel A. Yonis, founder of Testi Coffee, and Masreshu Sima, the founder of the washing station. This three-way partnership proved to be a good one. We started with few containers of Yirgacheffe and developed a supply chain, using several washing stations in different regions, such as Mulish in Guji and Gora Kone in Nensebo.
Reko washing station is named after Reko-Mountain, a tall and skinny mountain that towers above the hills of Kochere. Reko, translated in Afaan Oromo, means challenge. It refers to the challenge of climbing the Reko-mountain. Masreshu and Faysel adopted the name and its symbolic value. It is their challenge to cultivate the best Yirgacheffe coffee. During harvest, which normally takes place between late October and mid-January, about 850 farmers bring their red cherries to the washing station. The Reko washing station is an example for neighbouring washing stations, they sustain coffee communities and deliver amazing coffee, year after year. Incoming coffee is washed with water from a nearby river, after which are pulped with an old Agard pulping-machine. The mucilage is removed by traditional fermentation, which lasts 36-48 hours depending on the weather conditions. The coffee is then dried on raised African beds for 10-12 days.
According to the Reko-team, the success of the washing station is threefold. First and foremost, the training and education of staff and suppliers. A good protocol can only be implemented by equipped staff members and farmers. Testi Coffee gives pre-harvest training to all partners. Secondly, good selection and separation; only red cherries are selected, and processed coffees are kept separate by harvesting-time (early, mid, late), and geographical area (Onancho, Debo, Shashamene, Hamma, Beloya). Finally, monitoring and control; Reko-lots are assigned to professional site managers, whom, with their vast experience in coffee processing, control every aspect of Reko-lots from cherry to warehouse delivery, anticipating on changes and separating deviating lots.
Thunguri washing station, situated in Kirinyaga – near the slopes of Mount Kenya, is part of Kibirigwi Co-operative. Currently, it serves 1700 members who are largely small-scale farmers who grow other cash crops such as tea and macadamia – coupled with subsistence food crops such as maize and bananas. The farmers of Thunguri are very particular about their agro practices, knowing too well that the price of their coffee is dependent on the collective effort made during the year.
The coffee is handpicked and delivered to the washing station for pulping. During this stage, attention is only paid to the well-developed ripe cherries to maximize quality. Further effort is put into the pulping process, subsequent fermentation, and drying process. The coffee is further subjected to conditioning bins, made of wire mesh all around, to ensure the beans get enough rest.