We just cupped the world’s most expensive Robusta.
Pieter Vermulen has a wonderful story behind this extraordinary Robusta. On a recent trip to Uganda, a farmer sold him some coffee cherries, three times the usua coffee cherry size. After drying and a sample roast, Pieter was blown away. So were we.
The coffee is called Kinsansa and has been presumed extinct since the middle of the 20th century. We've potentially found the last ten trees of this wild Robusta! The tree itself is striking, growing to a possible 20 metres and bearing up to 300kg of cherries. Pieter bought as much as he could, moving from village to village hoping the locals knew more about where the Kinsansa was hiding. After scouring an area the size of Cape Town, Pieter and his team found just four trees.
Pieter has begun replanting in an effort to save the species and was desperate to get David’s opinion on its profile. Many in the coffee industry are sceptical when the term ‘robusta’ crops up (pardon the pun). The higher caffeine content often results in an unpleasant bitterness that turns people away from robusta beans.
However, this robusta is quite extraordinary. Pieter brought it to us because of the sweet profile he noted during his preliminary cupping. We were likewise impressed. Our profile of this coffee: violet, sugar cane, caramel toffee, and ripe greengage. The coffee is full bodied with a low acidity and a sweet, lingering aftertaste.
You’ll be seeing much more Kinsansa as Pieter works to bring this species back to life. For the meantime, we are looking forward to eroding the Robusta stigma. We simply have to share this wonderful coffee, and its story, with you.