ZAMBIA AAA/AA MAFINGA HILLS RFA – WASHED PROCESSED TOP LOT

Coffee Reviews by Burman Coffee Traders

Coffee Review: Zambia Mafinga Hills

A very similar cup profile to a Kenyan/Tanz coffee but a bit milder. Very nice prep and screen size on these beans.

The Mafinga Hills in Zambia’s Northern Province are home to the country’s highest peaks, where altitude and ancient volcanic soils help produce the sweet citrus flavor profiles that characterize this AAA/AA graded RFA certified coffee from Olam owned estates. Kateshi Estate, near the region’s capital city of Kasama, grows nearly 800 hectares of coffee above 1300 masl. Near the border with Tanzania, Isanya Estate grows 1600 hectares above 1500. Coffees from both estates are milled at the Kateshi mill and blended to create this unique coffee from the home of smoke that thunders.

Long before Dr. Livingston arrived to name Victoria Falls after the queen, the people who had lived around this wonder of the natural world for generations had already named it more appropriately, “the smoke that thunders.” The falls thunder into the Zambesi River, which flows east toward Mozambique. Before the river crosses the border, take a left and head north up the Luangwa River. You’ll move through land rich in biodiversity, including the world’s largest concentration of hippos. As the river meanders and the altitude rises you will eventually arrive at the source of the Luangwa, 1500 meters up the Mafinga plateau, which is also, as it happens, the source of Olam’s high scoring Zambian top lots.

Tasting Notes:
Medium bodied with some gentle brightness behind it. Clean cup with a classic spicy herbal bakers chocolate undertone balanced with mild lemony floral acidity. Darker roasts mute up a bunch of the acidity and give a real big bodied, smoky, complex and very dark toned cup of coffee.

Roasting Notes:
A very fun one to play around with the roast, a bit more acidity in the cup really differentiated the lighter from darker roasts. A good one to drag out a bit if roasting before 2nd crack. Can go from first crack to 2nd a little quicker than average so make sure to keep an eye on it.

ZAMBIA AAA/AA MAFINGA HILLS coffee
A milder version of Kenyan/Tanz coffee

UGANDA RFA ORG. SIPI FALLS BUGISU

Coming from family owned farms located in the Bugisu region on the slopes of Mount Elgon in the Kapchorwa district, Uganda.  The Bugisu region is named after the Bugisu people who are indigenous to this area.  The Sipi Falls coffee project, named after a trio of majestic waterfalls, was established in 1999 to strengthen quality coffee production in the region and create a sustainable income for farmers.

Tasting Notes: 
A nice clean and balanced cup, medium bodied and lower acidity for an African. Lighter roasts will still be a little citric and floral balanced with a semi-sweet chocolaty undertone with very little of that traditional African spice note. Medium roasts mute up the acidity and leave a little hint of a floral and developing a little soft fruit tone mixing with a smoother chocolate tone. Darker roasts pick up some nice complimentary roasty tones mixing with more of a bakers chocolate semi-sweet note.

Roasting Notes: 
Medium to dark roasts were the way to go, clean and smooth, very drinkable with a sweeter edge to it. Lighter roasts added a little bit of floral but reduces the chocolaty edge to just a hint. Dark roasts were very nice as well, smoky and chocolaty, a bit more potent of a cup.

Uganda Sipi Falls
Uganda Sipi Falls

See Our Full Coffee List!

TANZANIA WASHED CPU PEABERRY

Tanzania Washed CPU Peaberry is sourced from a group of 235 family-owned farms located in the Mbozi district within the Songwe region of Tanzania. Producers harvest and deliver cherry to the CPU (central processing unit) where the coffee is depulped, fermented, washed and dried. The CPUs have been established in the last three years to provide producers with a centrally located processing facility that can process coffee more consistently and ensure better quality, which results in better prices from the international market. The rounder shaped peaberry, formed from the maturation of one seed per cherry rather than the typical two seeds, is meticulously sorted during the milling process for its distinct flavor profiles.

This is a very nice and clean aggregate, a perfect example of what Tanz coffee tastes like. Decent prep, some small beans, clean cupping and tasty.

Tasting Notes: 
Rich, clean and chocolaty, Tanz coffee is always high on our go to list for stronger chocolaty coffee. At light to medium roasts once will see a more gentle cup with a little sweeter edge and a hint of acidity and spice. Darker roasts get much fuller bodied and bring out the strong bakers chocolate edge balancing nicely with the spice note and roasty tones.

Roasting Notes: 
Medium to dark roasts are preferred and let the cup shine. Light roasts although tasty do risk a little grassy tone before city+. We found a quicker roast accentuates some of the sweeter tone and crispness which was a good thing.

See Our Full Coffee List!

RWANDA BOURBON BUFCAFE – TOP LOT

This coffee comes from Buf Cafe and is 100% Bourbon variety. The famed Buf Cafe washing station is in the mountains near the village of Karaba, in the Ginkongoro prefecture in south-central Rwanda. Buf Cafe started operation in 2000, after funding aid from the Rwandan Development Bank and USAID’s PEARL project.

Buf Cafe is a private washing station, owned wholly by the Muhirwa family, processing coffee cherry from two distinct cooperatives in the Ginkongoro prefecture: Cobabakagi (1300 members) and Terimbere Kawa Yacu (between 400-600 members). They also collect cherry from farmers in other regions, siphoning away outside cooperative output by placing collection sites within the operating zones of other established groups.

Buf Cafe operates two separate washing stations – Nyrusiza and Remera. This particular lot comes from cherry milled at the Nyarusiza station.The larger of the two stations, Remera sits at 1950 meters, and on the drive there we reached hilltop elevations nearing 2200 meters. Processing here follows the Rwandan standard, with a floating tank sort, 8-12 hour dry fermentation, second sort for weight using water shoots, then a 24 hour soak prior to hand washing and hand sorting, concluded by placement on raised drying beds on the mountain valley floor. Similar practices are followed at Nyarusiza. Buf Cafe’s dry mill facility is located in Karaba.

Tasting Notes:
A very cool Rwanda coffee. Super clean and chocolaty, medium to full bodied with just a bit higher than average acidity; more buzzy than citric. A juicer body with hints of citric and peach like fruit balancing with a very clean chocolaty undertone with an accent of spice that lingers in the aftertaste that pulls it all together. A way cool cup.

Roasting Notes:
Good at almost any roast but to see what separates this cup from average consider it a lighter roast coffee; will be a little higher acidity but more buzzy than citric. Darker roasts get a bit smoky with a little bakers chocolate kick. Smack dab in the middle was easily our favorite, smooth chocolate notes with just a little crispness and on the sweeter side. Yum! Will darken up quicker than most and start to develop a sheen at a city + roast, can be a little deceptive.

See Our Full Coffee List Here!

PERU SHB FTO – FINCA JUAN HERRERA – RONAL MONTENEGRO – EL PALTO TOP LOT

This lot comes from Ronal Carranza Montenegro who owns the farm “Juan Herrera”. A very cool single producer Peru (almost all the Peru’s we see are co-op driven). Ronal is part of the Asociacion de Productores Cafetaleros Juan Marco El Palto (JUMARP), also known as “El Palto.” The cooperative is located in the Amazonian Andes in northern Peru. Founded in 2003 by 35 small farmers, the association now consists of 189 active members with a total area of 549 hectares in production. All members produce organic and Fair Trade Certified coffee.

Women represent 40 of the organizations families, including continual representation on their Board of Directors. The Association’s mission is to meet the demand of our buyers in specialty coffee allowing an increase in income for the farmer member and their family.

Tasting Notes: 
A very tasty cup; a bit unique for a Peru. It has a nice soft red fruit tone upfront with just a little hint of acidity balanced with a nice and chocolaty undertone, just a little hint of citric acidity. Very clean cup, medium to low acidity along with a gentle medium body and good sweetness. A cup we could drink all day long.

Roasting Notes: 
A very stand up lot good at almost every roast. Being on the snazzy side, lighter roasting is preferred for it will keep those nice sweet fruity tones intact in the cup along with a hint of crisp acidity, darker roasts will mute it up but are still very tasty.

See Our Full Coffee List Here!

PERU ORG. SHB EP NORTE

This cup is coming from family owned farms organized around the Central Fronteriza del Norte de Cafetaleros (CENFROCAFE), which is an umbrella cooperative established in 1999 that supports 80 organizations and 2,000 coffee producers in the region of Majorca, Peru. CENFROCAFE provides training and financing aimed at improving coffee quality and yields to increase farmer earnings.

Tasting Notes:
A great gentle and smooth cup of coffee. Pretty low acidity but one can see a little floral at the lighter roast points. A little less sweet than previous batches, still a very nice, clean and chocolaty cup. A great everyday drinker.

Roasting Notes:
Easy to roast, avoid super light roasts or you will get front-loaded floral tones that taste a bit unbalanced. City + to Full City roasts are  great and will maximize the sweet and smooth tones. Darker and it turns more semi-sweet chocolate based with very minimal acidity, a little more body and adds a hint of smoke.

See Our Full Coffee List Here!

NICARAGUAN SHG RFA SELVA NEGRA WASHED

Nicaraguan Selva Negra coffee is cultivated in the most ecologically sustainable and socially responsible way possible.  Learn more by reading our Selva Negra Grower Profile.

Selva Negra’s history is in many ways the history of the coffee in Nicaragua altogether. In the 1880’s the Nicaraguan government invited young German immigrants to come and settle in Nicaragua in order to promote coffee growing in the northern highlands. Many accepted the offer, thus forming the main coffee plantations of the country; some estates bear names of their motherlands. Selva Negra means Black Forest, and the coffee estate is called La Hammonia, Latin for Hamburg. Located approximately 4,000 ft. above sea level, La Hammonia has been producing fine old style Arabica coffee for over 100 years. Eddy Kühl & Mausi Kühl-Hayn, the farm’s proprietors are descendants of two of these original German immigrants – Alberto Vogl and Klaus KÜhl.

Selva Negra Estate Coffee is grown at a high altitude in a shaded environment. This allows the bean to have a slow development cycle which instills an intense and fulfilling flavor to each bean. The coffee is not only 100% Arabica, but more importantly it is mostly Bourbon and Typica strains (which produce higher quality beans than other varieties of coffee trees). The region of Matagalpa, Nicaragua is mountainous with excellent volcanic soil producing exceptional beans. Finally, the coffee is prepared using an environmentally friendly washing process, which gives the coffee still one more unique quality enhancing aspect.

Tasting Notes:
A very nice and super fresh batch of their traditional farm aggregate. A little hint of citrus floral upfront balanced with nice complex malty tones. Great everyday drinker at a medium roast, balanced with a sweet edge. A heftier cup at the darker roasts and equally as tasty, fuller bodied with strong malty and smoky tones but still retains that sweeter edge to it.

Roasting Notes:
Easy to roast, great prep on the beans and roast pretty even. Make sure to at least get a strong medium roast, with being a little lower acidity, not a ton of jazz at those lighter roast points but as you progress the roast it builds that great malty tone that Nicaragua is known for.


Every afternoon of picking all the workers gather for the cherry reception – this is where the work for the day will be logged and the start of the processing for the cherry.

Selva Negra means Black Forest – beyond the coffee trees below you can see why.

See Our Full Coffee List Here!

NICARAGUAN SHG RFA SELVA NEGRA HONEY

The honey processing on these beans is very close to the washed processing – very clean honey processing. It does leave it with a hint more sweetness and body but a little less acidity. Not as unique as some of our other honey processed coffees but very tasty indeed.

Nicaraguan Selva Negra coffee is cultivated in the most ecologically sustainable and socially responsible way possible.  Learn more by reading our Selva Negra Grower Profile.

Selva Negra’s history is in many ways the history of the coffee in Nicaragua altogether. In the 1880’s the Nicaraguan government invited young German immigrants to come and settle in Nicaragua in order to promote coffee growing in the northern highlands. Many accepted the offer, thus forming the main coffee plantations of the country; some estates bear names of their motherlands. Selva Negra means Black Forest, and the coffee estate is called La Hammonia, Latin for Hamburg. Located approximately 4,000 ft. above sea level, La Hammonia has been producing fine old style Arabica coffee for over 100 years. Eddy Kühl & Mausi Kühl-Hayn, the farm’s proprietors are descendants of two of these original German immigrants – Alberto Vogl and Klaus KÜhl.

Selva Negra Estate Coffee is grown at a high altitude in a shaded environment. This allows the bean to have a slow development cycle which instills an intense and fulfilling flavor to each bean. The coffee is not only 100% Arabica, but more importantly it is mostly Bourbon and Typica strains (which produce higher quality beans than other varieties of coffee trees). The region of Matagalpa, Nicaragua is mountainous with excellent volcanic soil producing exceptional beans. Finally, the coffee is prepared using an environmentally friendly washing process, which gives the coffee still one more unique quality enhancing aspect.

Tasting Notes:
A very clean and sweet cup of coffee. Medium to full bodied with just a little hint of acidity. Lighter roasts produce a pretty delicate cup with a hints of melon and floral balanced with a herbal spice malty note. Medium roasts were our favorite with a bit more pronounced malt tone and a little fuller bodied.  Darker roasts produce a very cool sweet malty and smokey type cup – much fuller bodied with a bit more strength to it. Really dark gets a bit edgy.

Roasting Notes: 
A good clean cup at almost any roast point. A little lighter bodied at very light roast points but the body builds nicely at even a city plus roast. We liked it best just before 2nd crack – kept it nice and smooth but built up decent body and the nice smokey malty tone.

See Our Full Coffee List Here!

MALAWI FTO MZUZU CO-OP AB+

This is an AB Plus grade of coffee (bean size) from the Mzuzu Cooperative. Farms and producers who are considered a part of the Mzuzu Coop are primarily located in the northern districts of Malawi from Mzimba upwards. Most recently they have also begun supporting a number of smallholder projects in Central Malawi and more particularly in the Ntchisi East district, between the town of Kasungu and lake Malawi. There are approximately 2,700 small scale farmers working within these cooperative districts of which over 30% are women. This particular blend is brought together from five small districts, all near the western banks of Lake Malawi: Misuku Hills, Phoka HIlls, Viphya North, Nkhata Bay Highlands, and South East Mzimba. The coffees grown are a mixture of Catimor 129, Nyika Catimor and a small percentage of Geisha – inherited from the early days of the cooperative movement – and are all fully washed and sun dried.

Tasting notes:
This cup has a nice heavier body and creamy feel, a bit higher acidity this year then its been in the past. Citrus and floral with lighter fruit tones upfront and a real rich and smooth bakers chocolate and smoky undertone that can turn much stronger into the darker roasts (past/into second crack). Very clean cup, holds up to a bit lighter roast but most prefer it right before to touching 2nd crack. Gets much more of a caramel sweetness with just a hint of floral versus an pretty acidic but very clean light roast.

Roasting notes:
This is a complex cup of coffee. The taste will be highly dependent on roast. Good from light to dark. A little more exotic at the lighter roast points. Real big body, buttery and sweet into those darker roasts. Allow for a longer set up time when roasting light. It goes into the second crack quickly so you’ll want to keep a close eye in this one.

See Our Full Coffee List Here!

INDONESIAN SUMATRA TAKENGON ORG. IKA GRADE 1

Coming from the Jagong Mill and surrounding family-owned farms located in the Takengon and Atu Lintang coffee region of Aceh province on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia.  Irham Junus owns and operates the Jagong Mill with his son, Andi and daughter, Ina. The Junus family has focused on meticulous ripe cherry selection resulting in something truly unique in Sumatra. The Junus family also has full control of the processing and milling right up to the final export stage, avoiding the long and convoluted supply lines that can compromise Sumatran quality.

Tasting Notes:
A great, fresh traditional Sumatra offering. Very thick and creamy, a predominately darker toned lower acidity cup of coffee. Good prep for a Sumatra and fairly clean in its taste profile. One will get lots of chocolaty tones (ranging from smooth to bakers chocolate) mixing with herbal spice and a bit of smoky, peat-like tones. Good as a single origin or blend component.

Roasting Notes:
Medium to dark roast coffee, too light and the chocolaty tones and body will be lacking.  Due to the wet-hulled processing these beans will roast a bit two-toned. Good to bring them up to temp a little slower and if shooting for a medium roast, make sure everything gets through first crack before cooling. If it doubt any signs of 2nd crack, hit cool.

See Our Full Coffee List Here!

INDIAN MYSORE NUGGETS – EXTRA BOLD

Year in to year out, this is always one of our most popular coffees, at times we have trouble keeping it in stock! New 2018/19 Crop!

Mysore coffees are the best known and the most popular of all Indian coffees, they posses good body and snappy acidity. The overall taste profile is very unique, with spicy overtones. These spicy overtones come from the cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves and pepper that grow alongside the coffee trees.

This lot is full bodied, with a rich full taste and moderate acidity. Very interesting and exotic, I like to roast this coffee a little darker, just into the second crack.

Tasting Notes:
Indian Mysore Nuggets have been a favorite of Burman Coffee and customers for many years and this crop does not disappoint. The aroma is nutty, woody, and some slight smokiness. Many of the notes in the aroma come through in the flavor like walnuts and some smoke. There’s dark fruit, oak, licorice, and some vanilla spice, like a good dry red wine. The finish has a subdued brightness to it with just hints of lemon zest at lighter roast points. The body is medium to full depending on roast and brew. There’s a reason people keep coming back to this bean. It’s a smooth all around great stronger cup of coffee.

Roasting Notes:
We recommend roasting this bean at a medium to dark roast. Too light and the brightness is too dominate, too dark you will lose its depth of flavor.

See Our Full Coffee List Here!

INDIAN CHERRY ROBUSTA

This coffee is very high chaff and dense, which can cause issues in many home roasters. We do not recommend roasting this coffee in a Nesco, and you will have to reduce your batch size in all the other roasters.

This is a blender coffee, use 10%-15% to add caffeine to your personal blend.

This Robusta is a clean and rich cup, it is very full flavored.

A little earthy to be drinking it by itself but it will add a lot of character and caffeine to your favorite blend.

See Our Full Coffee List Here!

HONDURAN ORG. SHG EP COMSA

In the year 2000, 62 Honduran coffee farmers joined together with a common goal to transform their farms from conventional to organic production and formed COMSA (Cafe Organico Marcala, S.A). In 2001, fostered by a foundation called Funder, COMSA earned their organic certification from Bio Latina which has enabled them to market their coffee to more international buyers and realize better selling prices for their coffee. In February 2006, COMSA then applied for and was granted Fair Trade certification status. COMSA uses the Fair Trade price premium to fund many social projects including paying teachers’ salaries and purchasing school supplies.

Tasting Notes: 
This cup is nice and chocolaty, lower acidity and medium bodied. A little sweeter edge to it before super dark roasts. A little hint of a nutty caramel like tone at the medium roast points but we all thought it was at its best right around a full city – smooth without too much of a roasty note and great chocolaty tones.

Roasting Notes: 
Easy to roast. I would avoid light roasts, gets a little under developed chocolate note. Medium roasts have nice balance, a little hint of acidity and more nutty/caramel like tones. Past a medium roast, turns into a nice everyday drinker.

See Our Full List Here!

HAWAIIAN MAUI MOKKA NATURAL 14 – 2019

A little bit of bad news this year folks, the Mauigrown crop – although very tasty – was tiny this year. Normally they sell 50% of their crop on Maui, this year they only pulled in about 52% of their normal yield. Didn’t leave that much coffee for us here on the mainland. Our allotment was chopped to about 90% of what we normally get. Price is up a little last year but luckily not up as much as the crop was down. Get it while the getting is good!

Mauigrown has done an excellent job learning from the last crop to improve the next. Every year they revise the processing method to leave it a little sweeter and cleaner. You can tell the difference just by appearance, it looks much cleaner. An old-world coffee with new world inspirations.

Maui Mokka originated at Ka’anapali Estate in Maui, an experimental coffee plantation project. They transplanted several native coffees from around the world, looking to derive Hawaiian cultivars with unique flavors; the Maui Mokka bean is derived from native Yemeni seed stock. The Ka’anapali project went under in 2002 due to funding issues. In stepped a group of connoisseurs who rescued the Estate from developers, and rehabilitated the original plantings. Today Mauigrown is a thriving farm model producing some very tasty Hawaiian coffee.

Tasting Notes:
Fuller bodied, low acidity with a complex chocolaty factor and some floral aromatics. One can see a little African like herbal spice note in the cup especially at the darker roasts. Light roast get a little acidity but underdeveloped chocolaty tones, so this guy is pretty much a medium to dark roast Hawaiian. Medium roasts get just a hint more floral upfront, a little sweeter and smoother cup but most will want to shoot for right at 2nd crack – big bodied and a very nice chocolaty spice tone.


Roasting Notes:
Can be a little tricky to roast, high chaff and small beaned. Believe it or not, this is actually one of the larger screens of the Mokka but the bean size can still add some challenges. With the small beans, they can go much quicker from 1st to 2nd crack than larger beans – so make sure to keep an eye on them closely. They are a high sugar/pectin beans, they tend to get a slight sheen on them earlier in the roasting than most, can be a little deceiving when judging them. I tend to roast at slightly lower temps and judge the roast by time from first crack. The good news, it is a very tasty coffee just touching 2nd crack – an easier to hit roast point.

See Our Full Coffee List Here!

HAWAIIAN 100% ESTATE MAUI; YELLOW CATTURA NATURAL – 2019

Maui Kaanpali Estate is a unique Hawaiian coffee.  The beans are grown by MauiGrown Coffee at Ka‘anapali Estate in the West Maui highlands.

The 500-acre estate is a former State/private project that used coffee to diversify Maui’s sugar plantations.  It performed extensive field trials to find Arabicas that grow best in the soil, altitude and climate, while providing the best cup quality and yields.  MauiGrown grows the 4 best Arabica types from those field trials: Maui Mokka, Yellow Caturra, Red Catuai and Typica.

Tasting Notes:
This cup is a bit more fruit forward than previous years with a nice sweet edge to it. Medium to low acidity along with a medium body, the fruitier aspects of this cup are balanced with a nice malty edge that will get pretty strong as you get close or into 2nd crack. Pretty wild at the lighter roasts, it becomes a good smooth and defined cup at a strong medium roast.

Roasting Notes:
This is interesting coffee by itself but one of my favorite blend components. If you are into espresso and like Hawaii – this is a perfect blend base.  I would shoot for right before the second crack – will give you a very smooth cup – lower acidity with a very floral aroma; accentuating the dark malt and chocolate tones. Medium roasts are best for a single origin drinker, very sweet with some soft fruit and a malty undertone.

See Our Full Coffee List Here!

ETHIOPIAN YIRGACHEFFE GR. 1 ORG. NATURAL PROCESSED – GEDEB CHELBASA

This awesome tasting lot is put together by METAD.  A third-generation family owned business with a rich history that began after World War II when the Ethiopian Emperor awarded Muluemebet Emiru, the first African female pilot and family matriarch, with land in the Guji and Sidama zones that has become the Hambela Coffee Estate.

METAD is managed by Aman Adinew who returned to Ethiopia after many years working abroad at the executive level for multiple fortune 500 companies because he wanted to make a difference for his family and community. Through Aman’s leadership, METAD has strengthened the local community with employment opportunities including a workforce that is over seventy percent women, educational opportunities including university scholarships and sponsorship for a state-of-the-art elementary school with more than 700 students, and healthcare for employees.

METAD was also first to partner with Grounds for Health in Ethiopia to implement a successful cervical cancer screening program for women within the coffee growing communities. METAD has an expanding Out-grower program designed to provide technical assistance, share modern farming equipment, and provide certification programs for more than 5,000 local farmers who are paid premiums for their cherry and second payments after coffee is sold. Quality and certification premiums have also helped METAD build roads and community centers. METAD has the first and only private state-of-the-art SCAA certified coffee quality control lab on the African continent used to train both domestic and international coffee professionals.

Tasting Notes:
A clean, smooth and exotic cup with some awesome complexities. The aroma hits that dark fruit note on the head – smells like floral blueberries and blackberries. Its body is smooth, rich and clean. A little lower on the citric acidity makes this a nice lighter roast coffee. Sweet and fruit forward with a slight tea like spice note balanced with a chocolate undertone. The balance of this cup is fun to play with, accentuate the fruit and citric by taking it lighter or accentuate the chocolaty spice by taking it darker. The flavor has many layers of lemon-grass, berries, chocolate, and spice. A delicate cup – mostly going after those fruity floral and sweet tones.

Roasting Notes:
Light to medium roasts are where its at . If your a dark roast fan, you might be better served with a more traditional Washed Processed Ethiopian offering. This coffee will roast a little two toned as with many naturals. If shooting for the lighter roast points, play close attention to first crack and make sure the lighter beans have expanded.

See Our Full Coffee List!

ETHIOPIAN GUJI NATURAL 4

A great deal on a good tasting “old world” Ethiopian Natural.

This is an aggregate coffee from the Oromia region of Ethiopia. The small holder coffee growers do not have processing equipment so the dry mill usually buys the ripe cherry off of them. The mill then sorts it and processes it and grades it accordingly.

For Ethiopia is still pretty wild in its coffee growing practices, these aggregate coffees tend to contain many undocumented and wild strains of coffee. The villagers and family will pick any tree they can find with ripe berries. A  very cool cup profile but will roast pretty uneven and be high chaff. Unique stuff unlike almost any other producing nation.

The mill processes these beans by immediately sorting them and placing them on raised drying beds, slow-drying them over a period of 15 to 20 days. The beds are carefully constructed to ensure proper air circulation and temperature control for an optimal drying process. Cherries are also turned regularly on the beds to prevent damage during the drying process. The cherries are stored in a local warehouse after the moisture is reduced to less than 12 percent. Then the beans are then transported to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, to be milled and prepared for export.

Tasting Notes: 
A great cup; wild but not too wild. Medium bodied and fairly low acidity, the slow dry does come out in the flavor with a bit of red fruit upfront at any but a dark roast. A nice balance of sweet, red fruit and floral mixing with a semi-earthy bakers chocolate undertone.

Roasting Notes: 
These old world Ethiopian Naturals are a little trickier to roast. Consider it a high chaff coffee and possibly reduce the batch size slightly. A easy roast point for it is to just touch 2nd crack, as soon as you see any signs of the 2nd crack on any of the beans, cool it out. You will notice some beans on the lighter side and ranging up to a full city, provides great contrast of tones in the cup. You can go lighter or darker for personal taste, lighter will get you a bit more floral and fruit, darker will promote the bakers chocolate and spice qualities.

See Our Full Coffee List Here!

COSTA RICAN ORG. SHB EP FINCA AMISTAD

New 2018/19 crop! After losing the bid war last year on the Amistad coffee, we made sure not to make the same mistake this year! Always on our favorites list.

Hacienda la Amistad, located in Coto Brus, a canton in the province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica, is owned and operated by Roberto Montero, a third generation coffee farmer. Roberto’s grandfather first came to the area in the early 1900’s as part of a team surveying the border between Costa Rica and the newly formed country of Panama. Roberto’s grandfather later purchased over 10,000 hectares of land and began to cultivate coffee. Roberto’s family has returned more than 6,000 hectares of land to the government of Costa Rica for the preservation of La Amistad International Park, the largest natural reserve in Central America. Only 300 hectares of land are utilized for coffee cultivation while the remainder of the 4,000 hectare estate is preserved forest teeming with wildlife.

Roberto’s commitment to organic farming pairs harmoniously with his commitment to his community. During the coffee harvest, Roberto provides housing and free access to medical care for the seasonal pickers because most are indigenous people from Panama who come to La Amistad with their entire families. Roberto also takes pride in his ability to provide more than 100 full-time jobs to his neighbors from Las Mellizas, not only in coffee cultivation, but also in the dried fruit operation that he runs year round at La Amistad. Roberto hosts an annual employee celebration to recognize all their hard work and he also distributes school supplies to their children each year before school starts.

Tasting Notes: 
This is one you Costa fans will not want to miss. Great smooth and clean coffee on the sweet and nutty side, a bit chocolaty as one pushes past a medium roast. Great balance with floral and soft fruit tones that push this cup well beyond average. Medium bodied and on the medium to low acidity side at most roasts. A cup everyone should love.

Roasting Notes: 
A shame to roast super dark, will mute up sweetness and all the lighter tones but still be tasty. Avoid cinnamon and super light roasts, will not be balanced and taste pretty front loaded with acidity and floral. It shines in the city to full city range. If you like a hint of acidity, a nice city or city+ roast (lighter side of medium) will be perfect, if you like lower acidity and a little fuller bodied, shoot for right before 2nd crack. (strong medium)

See Our Full List Here!

CONGO ORG. KIVU SOPACDI – TOP LOT

I have always had a fascination with the Congo – perhaps from a movie I watched as a child. What a different place and culture – often seen in a dark light, coffee from there serves as a beacon of light in a troubled place.

SOPACDI (Solidarité Paysanne pour la Promotion des Actions Café et Development Intégral) is an organization comprising more than 5,600 farmers, roughly 20 percent of whom are women, located near Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Each farmer has a very small area of farmland for coffee (fewer than 2 hectares on average), and tenders cherries to SOPACDI through the organization’s 10 collection subgroups.

Joachim Munganga, who was a farmer himself, founded SOPACDI in 2003 by restoring a washing station in the area, which provided service and market access to the growers in these extremely remote highlands. Before he undertook this work, farmers had little to no means to transport coffee to the markets, and instead were forced to simply barter their coffee locally for food, clothing, and necessities. The cooperative was the first to achieve Fair Trade certification in Congo, and the coffee also carries organic certification. Members of the cooperative represent several different ethnic groups, speaking Kirundi, Kinyarwanda, and Kihavu, and many of the women members are widows.

Tasting Notes:
A super clean lot from the Congo; no earthy funk in this cup nor over the top herbal like so many Congo lots. Amazing considering all the trouble this year in the Kivu; beautiful prep on these beans. Great floral and soft fruit tones upfront, not too overwhelming or potent like some Africans, delicate sweetness balanced with a little chocolaty spice. Smooth with almost a brown sugar hint at a strong medium roast. Pretty much everyone will love this coffee and a great everyday drinker.

Roasting Notes:
Easy to roast and tasty at most roast levels. Lots of small little hints that get burned out into 2nd crack make this tailored towards lighter roasting but tastes great as you push it towards or into 2nd crack. A strong medium roast was our favorite, just starts popping out that caramelization tone without burning out that complimentary floral/fruit tones.

See Our Full Coffee List Here!

COLOMBIAN POPAYAN SUPREMO

Colombia Popayan Supremo is sourced from family-owned farms located in the municipality of Popayán within the department of Cauca, Colombia. On average, each producer cultivates their coffee on less than 5 acres of land. Coffee producers use their own micro-mill to process harvested cherries, which allows for meticulous care in depulping, fermenting, and drying the coffee. Expocafé, an exporter dedicated to supporting small producers, collaborates with these producers improving their access to international markets and establishing higher earnings.

Tasting Notes:
The aroma of this coffee is very nice; sweet with with a little spice floral tone. A little unique for an aggregate Colombian but a very tasty batch, shooting for a medium to borderline dark roast.  Sweet upfront with a soft fruit tone and a bit of walnut/chocolaty undertone. A little hint of acidity at the medium roast point really creates a nicely balanced cup with a broad flavor profile. Touching 2nd crack builds some body but is pretty quick to add some smoky and roasty notes; tasty when touching 2nd crack, gets a little twinge any darker.

Roasting Notes:
This bean is very versatile when it comes to roasting; good from light to dark but main recommendation would be in the medium ballpark. Be sure to try different roast points for it will greatly vary what flavors are accentuated.  Enjoy a brighter morning cup at a City Roast or take it into an afternoon/evening coffee by roasting it touching 2nd crack.

See Our Full Coffee List Here!