Coffee Review: Grumpy Mule Rwanda Musasa Dukunde Kawa

Another Grumpy Mule and the last in the current batch of summer purchases. I know what to expect from African coffees; they always have a sharper flavour, contrasting nicely with the lighter, fruitier flavours of South America. This is my first ever Rwandan coffee.

Grumpy Mule Rwanda Coffee
Copyright MG Mason 2017

Profile: Traditionally, African coffees are smoky with flavours such as brown sugar, toffee and caramel often contrasted with slight fruity flavours, typically sharper citrus flavouring rather than sweet. This is no different; the packaging promises molasses, red berries, citrus and a lighter finish than perhaps we tend to expect from African brews. It’s a Grade 3 roast which means a little lighter and easier on the palate.

Scent: The scent of the raw bean is interesting. I’m not quite picking up the molasses but there is a light and fruity scent reminiscent of berries more than citrus but an underlying sharpness. The molasses scent comes through much more in the brewed product. As you can see from the image and from previous posts, I use a moka pot which produces a concentrated form of coffee ideal for espresso. Add hot water and it’s Americano, blue jeans and chinos.

Colour: The beans are a fairly uniform and expected medium brown colour. Nothing unusual there for a Grade 3, but perhaps lacking the light orange tinge that some lighter brews usually possess. Brewed, it’s a fairly standard medium to dark brown. It looks like coffee, unsurprisingly. Nothing really stands out so far about the bean or the brew.

Flavour: Take a sip of the black brewed product and it’s clear from where the citrus label comes. The short note is reminiscent of lime though maybe not as sweet as the fruit itself, and maybe even something like bitter lemon. The fruit and molasses flavour is not quite obvious here. What happens when you add milk? I use full-fat milk as I like the creamy texture in my coffee. With the addition of milk, it is quite delicate with no real overpowering flavour. The citrus is there but muted, ditto with the molasses. I’m disappointed with the latter, not with the former.

Verdict: This is a solid coffee with some nice flavours and sensations. I’m slightly disappointed that I couldn’t quite pick up the molasses flavour; it’s usually a key feature of African coffee. It is enjoyable though. It’s a great entry-level coffee for anyone wishing to switch from instant to ground bean coffee with a good range of flavours while not feeling too adventurous.

Marks out of 10: 7. I would recommend this to somebody who doesn’t drink a lot of coffee, put off by much bitterer offerings. It’s a Grade 3 with some simple yet pleasant flavours. It loses a mark because I really could not pick out the molasses/brown sugar/cinder toffee that I come to expect from African coffees.


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