TROPICAL FRUIT, CITRUS, COCOA
The process of applying heat to green coffee beans to transform its chemical & physical properties, resulting in roasted coffee beans that can be brewed.
So far this year we have had one coffee from each origin in East Africa that arrive here during the winter months. Before we move on to later arriving coffees from Ethiopia and Kenya lets enjoy one last coffee from Burundi. If you remember BKM from March this should be an interesting contrast. BKM was bright, citric and lightly coated the palette whereas this coffee is dense and heavy with layers of ripe tropical fruit flavors.
Similar to Napa Valley or Burgundy for wine, the region where a coffee is grown can tell us a lot about the coffee.
The farm & mill where the coffee cherry is grown & processed.
Various small farmers
Along a dirt road, hours away from the nearest city sits the Buhorwa washing station. A fast-moving stream gurgles nearby. Here, in the remote mountains of Northern Burundi, coffee farmers bring their fine crops to wash them. During the processing, the farmers here include the most important ingredient: time. Their coffee beans are allowed to ferment for an extended time, after which the remaining pulp is thoroughly washed off the beans. The beans are then given a nice, long soak in fresh water and allowed to slowly dry on raised beds. This is a lengthy process that takes time. This is the Burundi way, though — unhurried.
The method by which the green coffee bean is removed from the fruit & then dried & stored can affect the taste of the coffee.
WET PROCESSED (WASHED)
This selection is fully washed, or wet processed. In wet processing, beans are only dried after all the fruit on the bean has been completely removed. (Letting the fruit ferment first makes removing it easy.) This processing method:
- Is the most common method used for coffee
- Generally creates clean flavors
- Produces a consistent profile
Most wine drinkers know whether they prefer a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot. Similarly, the Arabica coffee plant has several botanical varieties, each with unique taste characteristics.