We found our latest decaf in tea country. In fact, on our way to Tumba Station, we drove along a river bordering a cooperative tea plantation for over half an hour. But you know what they say: You can't have a valley of tea without a couple mountains of coffee. Or something like that.
That’s where we found Tumba Station, the mill. And there, working the gears to mechanically adjust the mill's depulper, stood the owner, Venustre Mugraneza.
Mugraneza became Tumba's sole owner just recently. He got the support to buy out his partners from Rwanda Trading Company, a US-run ethical investment & support group. Mugraneza clearly hasn't taken this support for granted--he was the only mill owner we saw in the nation who took the term hands-on so literally.
This is the only coffee from northern Rwanda we've fallen for, a gem of a coffee among the tea leaves.
So, how do we get it from that caffeinated farm to your decaffeinated cup? First, we roast and taste harvest samples. If they pass, we direct the whole batch up to Vancouver, BC. That’s where Swiss Water Process works their osmosis-based decaf magic: no ethyl acetate, no methylene chloride, and every batch tested to ensure under .01% caffeine.
So if you’re looking for decaf, you never need to settle for tea. (Not that there’s anything wrong with tea.)