Roaster's Tasting Notes
Terry's Chocolate Orange, Chestnuts, Roasted Oolong, Red Berries, Syrupy
We were very eager to see what delights Burundi would offer us after the success of last season's Mpanga Honey. After conducting our usual curation of lots from a selection of importers, we were delighted to find that our overall favourite in blind cuppings was a new lot prepared by the same washing station we picked from last year.
Maridadi (often spelled Malidadi) is the name of the hill where this coffee was harvested. Smallholders produce this coffee coffee on 7ha of land in total. Coffee trees are in bloom from mid-August to the end of September and coffee is harvested from March to June. The soil in the area is a mixture of clay and stony components. Hay or dry grass is scattered at the end of the harvest to protect the soil from drought and weeds. The hill is located near two main forests: Ikibira and Nyungwe that both play a big role in influencing weather conditions in the hill (wind and temperature).
Once harvested, the cherries are taken to the Mpanga Central Washing station located in Kayanza Province, Northern Burundi. It is managed by M.Jean-Clement Birabereya, a 17-year coffee veteran, who oversaw the construction of the washing station back in 2008. The station processes coffee from approximately 3,400 smallholder farmers, who cultivate coffee on the hillsides that surround Kayanza, at elevations of up to 1,950 masl. To service these producers properly, the station is well-equipped to process volumes of specialty coffee and benefits from 450 drying beds and a McKinnon 6-disc pulping machine. Mpanga processes roughly 1,500 tons of coffee per season, with each producer lot separated and named according to the hillside upon which the coffee was grown.
Last year a lot of money was invested in maintaining and fixing beds as well as building new ones. Mpanga has achieved incredible results at the Burundi Cup of Excellence, finishing 1st and 3rd in the 2014 competition. As a result of the hard work and diligence that has been implemented, Mpanga has become highly regarded for its consistently clean and complex coffees.
It is due to these cup qualities, alongside the focus and belief in motivating farmers meticulous harvesting and agricultural practices, that Falcon Coffees, who sourced this coffee (and our Mpanga Honey from last year) decided to to source all of their 2019-2020 Burundi coffees exclusively through Mpanga. The flavour profile from the Kayanza region in Burundi is similar in a lot of ways to the southern Rwandan coffees like Huye Mountain. In fact, Huye Mountain is only about 60 miles from the Kayanza village, as the crow flies. However, Kayanza coffees tend to be more delicate in character and present more floral notes, such as jasmine, rose and orange blossom.
We were really impressed with the very clean physical state of the greens and even results upon roasting - a great accomplishment for a multi-smallholder lot.
Brewed for filter, you can expect caramelised tangerines and roasted oolong, with chestnuts and red berries on the cool with a clean, syrupy finish.
Brewed for espresso, you can expect a contemporary "3rd wave" style espresso with sweetness and acidity in great balance but with way more mouthfeel and finish than you would typically expect for a Washed African. In milk, the espresso turns into a stunning Flat White, with that Chocolate Orange and chestnuts to the fore.
We are proud to present this washed Bourbon, grown by the smallholder farmers of Maridadi Hill and processed under the watchful eye of M.Jean-Clement Birabereya of Mpanga Central Washing Station for both espresso and filter roasts. Sourced by Falcon Coffees.