Square Mile Coffee is ten years old in just a few days time and what better way to celebrate than with excellent coffee?
That’s why we’ve come up with our Ten For Ten series; a celebration of both our ten-year milestone and some of the most memorable coffee releases that have helped us get here.
Ten for what?
It’s all pretty simple. On the first day of every month from now until the end of 2018, we’ll be releasing a coffee from our Ten For Ten series. Crucially, all of these coffees have been voted for by you or picked by our team here as stand out coffees from our last ten years of roasting.
Basically, we’re playing our greatest hits! Ten coffees, ten months, ten years.
It’s been a blast to revisit farms or co-ops we’d fallen out of touch with, rekindle old relationships and see how their current crops perform.
Not only that, but each coffee in the series will have a special, one-off label. These are designed to be collected and kept on a special edition, ‘sticker book’ wall poster. Panini, eat your heart out!
Getting your hands on one of these posters is easy – we’ll be shipping one for free alongside every bag Musasa (the first Ten For Ten coffee) that we sell. Note, though, that this offer only stands for the first coffee in the series. We’ll also be supplying our cafes with a poster for every bag of Musasa they buy, so don’t worry if you pick up your coffee from a cafe rather than our website, you’ll still be able to get hold of a poster.
Stick with us for the full series and you’ll be able to complete your poster – we’ll even have a little treat lined up for anyone who’s got a full map come December!
Without further ado, we’ll introduce you to our first coffee: Musasa. We’ll also be keeping this post updated throughout the year as each coffee gets released, so be sure to check back each month.
Month 1 (March) – Musasa
We love this coffee from the Musasa Dukunde Kawa co-op in the highlands of northwestern Rwanda, which we last bought way back in 2012.
This lot is from the oldest of the co-op’s three washing stations, which is located in the Ruli sector of the Rushashi district. At 2,000 meters above sea level, it’s one of the highest stations in Rwanda and was built in 2003 with a loan from the government and support from the USAID PEARL project.
The co-op has 2,148 members, employs around 30 full-time staff and during the season, the place is buzzing with almost 300 part-time hires. The manager is Valens Ntezimana, and he and his team manage an incredible amount of detailed administration for every member and every delivery.
After fermenting the hulled coffee beans in water for 12 hours the crop is graded by floating it through washing channels to weed inferior, low-density beans out of the crop. The coffee is then soaked for another 18-24 hours to stabilise, before drying on raised beds. During the drying phase of 12-16 days, the coffee is systematically turned, checked over and sorted by teams of women who remove any defective beans.
Once dried to exportable standards, the coffee is moved to the co-op’s new dry mill in Kigali, where each lot is cupped by the in-house quality control team. The co-op takes great pride and care in producing their coffees and over the years they’ve placed numerous times in the Rwanda Cup of Excellence, further testament to the team’s consistently high-quality work. Special thanks to Mercanta for supplying us with images from the Musasa Co-op.
Be sure to check back on the 1st of April for the full details on our next Ten For Ten release – Rainha.
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