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This is our first coffee ever from Burundi, and it’s non-traditional in several ways. While a natural process bean, and grown just across the border from Rwanda, its flavor profile is more similar to a South American washed process bean than a typical African natural. Its prominent flavor notes that all of our team tasted right way is a mix of chocolates, milk and dark, and caramel. But, owing to its secondary notes being so very subtle, there were differing opinions on what the other prominent flavors are. Peach, apricot and stone fruit were the most common notes a few of us picked up small hints of, while nobody tasted citrus, berry or bright notes. Gashoho is a mild coffee, our roaster refers to this type as a “breakfast coffee”, some may choose to increase the amount of coffee in their brewing process if they want a stronger amount of the same, smooth flavor.
The location of where these beans are grown is in the Muyinga region, in a very remote area of the Burundi highlands, less than 50 miles from the Rwanda border, another country we found a nice gem a couple of years ago. High quality soil and elevations that more or less stay at around 5,000 feet, make for very good conditions for growing coffee. With less than 100 years of experience as a coffee growing country (Belgium brought coffee cultivation to the country just after WWI), Burundi is not as well known as Ethiopia, Kenya, or even Rwanda, however with the increased demand for high quality coffees, we think it will become increasingly known for its single origin coffees.
These natural process beans are dried for up to 3-4 weeks, with constant rotation, in a very meticulous and laborious process, to get them ready for shipment. Some of the tens of thousands of farmers who pick coffee cherries here, travel as much as 12 miles through rugged, rural terrain to bring them to the washing stations to be dried and processed, and put into bags for shipment.