We tried so many coffees from Burundi this year, and this one was one of our favorites. The beans are size A and come from the Ndava village at 4000+ feet altitude in Northwest Burundi. They are packed in a Grain-Pro bag to maintain freshness. They are processed at the Ikawa Nziza mill. Several quality coffees from around this area are processed at this washing station, which roughly translates in English as "Coffee Beautiful" The Ndava commune has benefited greatly by the efforts of the mill to reach a global market for their wonderful coffee.
This is a washed process coffee, as are most Burundi beans, and it is a versatile bean. Most Burundi beans we run across have really high acidity with a caramel and lime undertone, and frankly it's a little hard to drink very much of it even while realizing that it is a high quality coffee. We like to find Burundi coffees that are easier to drink -- something with some smoother caramel or berries in the taste with a lot of sweetness. So with that said, this microlot really stood out!
You probably want to roast this just shy of the 2nd cracks and let it out (roast it very similar to a Colombia. A solid medium roast level). You get a coffee with caramel and brown butter, brown sugar sweetness. Medium body, pleasant acidity. Great mug of Burundi. Take it 45 seconds into the 2nd cracks (or even a little darker) and you get a remarkable French Roast with great sweetness and smoothness. Very slight undertones of cherry despite the darkness of the coffee. Take it lighter, and we were tasting mango and orange, but it was tricky to pull out the fruity flavors without underroasting it. In small sample batches, it was coming out fantastic, and then in large production roasts, we couldn't get the fruit and it was just tasting a little bit green/underroasted instead. So it might be worth playing around with the light roasts, but you need good airflow. Another option is to roast it a bit into the 2nd cracks and throw it in the espresso machine and get a sweet caramel shot of espresso with all kinds of complexity and mild fruit. Do keep an eye on it though -- it's only an A sized bean (not AA) and wants to race as the roast progresses.
January 2019 arrival in USA.