RWANDA • FUGI
Emmanuel began trialing a process he calls ‘Intango’ during the 2018 harvest. The name comes from a Rwandese tradition in which fruit would be fermented in clay ‘intango’ jars to create a potent elixir for warriors to consume prior to battle. Emmanuel explains, it is an homage to local history and tradition. For the process, the best quality cherries
are tightly packed into sealed jars and left to ferment for 48 - 100 hours. For the Fugi lot, the target fermentation time was 70 hours. In today’s specialty coffee vocabulary, it is ‘anaerobic’. But because all fermentation are anaerobic by definition, we like to refer to this process as a ‘low oxygen whole cherry fermentation’.
Emmanuel sourced this specific Fugi Intango lot from three smallholders who all work
on farmers that are adjacent to one another. Baho staff connected with Wenseslas, Sue, and Claude through a farmer outreach and training program, where they discussed best practices for fertilization, cherry selection, and farm maintenance. Such traceability is just one of the many reasons I love working with Baho coffee.
Fugi was built in 2013 and continues to be the local hub for specialty productions and special preparations like this Intango processing. Emmanual explains his desire to continue to help farmers improves their agricultural approaches and techniques. As he states, "Our overall vision is implied by the meaning of our name, Baho, which in our local language means live/life. It is like a tree that grows up and has branches, flowers and fruits and still keeps its roots in the ground.
Compared to other experimental processing which rely on plastic or steel, the clay intango pots are porous, which helps to harbor very specific local microbes. The resulting cup is intensely fruit-forward like tropical fruit punch. Vivid passionfruit acidity sparkles with a deep jammy fig note. Grape carries the cup with heavy sweetness, think jelly or juice. And the finish is light with a delightful lilac flavour.
Passionfruit, Grape Jelly & Fig Newtons.
Southern Province, Nyaruguru District.
Baho Coffee's Fugi Station.
Wenseslas Gashagaza, Sue Habitegeko and J. Claude Hakizimana.