AGL | African Great Lakes Regional Blend
Extra Bold Profile | Dark roast
Tasting Notes: Smoked Spices, Cola, Dark Caramel
IT ALL STARTS AT THE COFFEE FARM
As Ian says below, it's always fun to dark roast African coffees, as the components provide plenty of complexity, and the darker roast enhances the body and sweetness. We love all three of these coffees on their own at lighter roasts, and with this Extra Bold profile the flavor balance is truly exceptional.
Ibisi Mountain, Rwanda
The first blend component is from the Ibisi Mountain washing station, which sits within the hills of Southern Rwanda, located a short drive from the Nyungwe Forest, a national park known for its incredible biodiversity. Here, local farmer Bernard Uwitije focused primarily on producing commodity (non-specialty) coffee until 2015, when he realized the potential for processing fully-washed specialty coffees in partnership with Rwanda Trading Company.
Currently, Bernard operates sixteen wet mills and works directly with farmers throughout Rwanda – buying, milling, processing and marketing their coffees – while investing in producing communities through agribusiness training programs. Since 2013, these programs, which focus on cultivation innovation and reducing costs of production, have resulted in an 86 percent increase in farm revenue for producer-partners. It’s a highly collaborative effort, which fuels sustainable economic stability from the ground up.
The next component of the blend, named Mapendo for the Swahili word for "love", comes from the eastern edge of the Democratic Republic of Congo - the other side of Lake Kivu from the Ibisi Mountain. We purchased it through Mighty Peace, a direct impact coffee importer that only works in Congo. Grown by members of the larger Coopérative Agricole Muunganno in the South Kivu province, this coffee is one of sixteen distinct lots grown by 297 smallholder farmers, nearly 44% of those farmers are women.
Mighty Peace recognizes the need to reclaim the narrative of the Congo and of Congolese coffee, and spread the word to coffee-consuming countries - in fact, it's one of their founding principles to build up media resources so that these stories from Congolese coffee farmers can be shared.
One such resource is the video above, where Linda Mugaruka, Mighty Peace Coffee’s Chief Quality Officer and Agronomy Engineer, educates coffee farmers on specialty coffee techniques, which helps them to produce high-quality coffee consistently, year after year. The farmers featured in the video are from both the Coopérative Agricole Muunganno cooperative and from a neighboring cooperative called AMKA, which is about a 2 hour drive from the Muunganno co-op. The farmers in the photos to the right are all from Muuganno.
This coffee was grown and harvested by several farmers within the Nyankurazo community in northern Burundi, on the border with Rwanda. It was processed at the Nkanda washing station, which is run by Pierre Nzeyimana and his three sons. Pierre started the washing station after working for more than 10 years in other washing stations in Burundi, and now just over 1,200 farmers from the commune of Tangara contribute to Nkanda.
In Burundi, the traditional method of processing coffee after harvest is different from other neighboring countries. Coffee is typically allowed to rest for up to 36 hours in two sessions known as double-fermentation: 12 - 18 hours dry followed by 12 - 18 hours wet. This additional rest before drying adds to this coffee's fruit flavors and sparkling acidity. It is then dried on raised tables for 15 to 20 days.
Rwanda, Congo & Burundi
Southern Nyamagabe, South Kivu, Ngozi
1480 - 2000 meters
Balzac Brothers, Mighty Peace, Homage
DID YOU KNOW
The majority of Africa Great Lakes coffees are processed using traditional washed methods, which involves removing the fruit skin and pulp from the beans after harvesting and before drying.
$5.43, $5.25, $4.75
Price paid by Driftaway
Congo - $4.02
Free on Board price
Farm Gate price
Fair Trade price per pound
Coffee C-Market price per pound
Driftaway's World Coffee Research contribution per pound
The Rwanda Southern Nyamagabe coffee travelled 7,027 miles, the Congo South Kivu travelled 6,993 miles and the Burundi Ngozi travelled 7,070 miles to the Driftaway Coffee roastery in Brooklyn.
Love the coffee? You can share your compliments & tasting observations with the farmers.
WHY DID WE SELECT THESE COFFEES FOR THE BLEND?
These high grown, dense coffees are perfect for a dark roast - they can hold up to the higher heat in the roaster and the longer roast time and still remain complex and sweet.
AVERAGE CUPPING SCORE
SCAA Cupping Score
10 x 60 k
1, 1, 3 years
Length of producer relationship
100% (in 2022)
Transparent coffees purchased
HOW DID WE ROAST THIS COFFEE?
This coffee is being roasted by Ian T. from April 24 to May 17 in Brooklyn. We use the Loring Kestrel roaster for this profile. We have strict guidelines for each of the coffee profiles, and this roast has to pass the development time ratio test as measured in real-time by the roasting software, Cropster. Once it does, it is approved for production.
We perform Quality Control via a process of coffee tasting called cupping on all of our production roasts once a week from home as per our Covid-19 shelter in place guidelines. Each cupping is conducted by our roasting staff Kieran D. and Ian T. using standard equipment, and is logged by our Q-certified cupper Ian T. All coffees are evaluated on a scoring scale of 0 to 3.
- 3.0 = exceptional roast - exceeds expectations
- 2.5 = on par with profile - matches expectations
- 2.0 = good roast, but 1 or 2 elements could be improved - needs improvement
- 1.5 or lower = failed - do not ship
PRODUCTION AND SHIPPING
Less than 24 hours after roasting, we bag your coffee in our production facility in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Our production team is led by Anthony and Torie, and supported by a rotating cast of local artists, musicians and independent professionals.
AT YOUR HOME
Brew this coffee with your favorite home brewer and enjoy the taste of incredible coffee! Here are a few tips on how to make the best coffee on each brewer.