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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.
Yet another wonderful Ethiopian natural process, and Organic to boot. Satiny milk chocolate leads the way, with a clear caramel and brown sugar thread, followed by very subtle notes of dried blueberry and cherry, without any strong citrus appearance or high acidity.
These beans come from the Burka Gudina Estate, located in the Limmu Kosa district, within the Jimma Zone of Ethiopia. The farm is run by Ibrahim Hussein, a third generation coffee farmer in the area, and is marked by gentle, rolling, forested hills that range from 1,800 – 2,000 meters.
These natural process beans are dried in the sun before processing, at which point the mucilage is scrubbed off, but still leaving behind some of the dried cherry, the latter being a key component to the sweet, rich flavor of natural process coffees such as this one.
Our first natural process from Guatemala, it has lower acidity than the Ethiopian naturals, while still having a fruity profile. Blackberry, mango are the first flavors we picked up, with guava, red currant following and just the most subtlest of chocolate coming through as the cup cooled. It feels like an Ethiopian natural without the acidity or strong citrus profile.
These beans come from the southeastern part of Guatemala, in a very rural, inaccessible, mountainous area above Laguna de Ayarza (locally known as “Blue Lake”), where there are less than 10 homes in total around its perimeter. Cold, deep and pristine, the lake is said to be formed by two massive volcanoes that collapsed into a large crater, parts of the bottom having never been found. The beloved lake is part of legendary folklore for the locals. Because natural process coffee beans have more rigorous requirements, only those grown in the 5,500-6,000 elevation are selected.
Due to the hilly conditions where the beans are grown, the natural process beans are transported to a neighboring region where there is flatter land available for drying them in the sun, with sufficient breezes to blow over them. Laid out in layers of 3-4″ deep, they are dried for 5-6 days while being constantly turned during the day. The cherries go from red or yellow to purple, and then black. They are then finished for a half a day in mechanical dryers, this final process helping to control the acidity and ensure a final dry process without any pesky rain showers that may cause re-absorption of rainwater.
This natural process, Grade 1 Organic certified coffee is known for its diversified yet exquisite profile. On one side, the sweet but tangy watermelon and berry (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry) flavors brighten the cup, while the chocolate fudge notes produce a more mild finish.
These beans are harvested at the organic, privately owned Kayon Mountain farm located in the Guji zone of Ethiopia, about 6,700 feet in elevation.
The cherries are placed onto raised beds for 12-20 days, meticulously hand turned and picked over to remove and defective beans. The dried cherries are then milled to reveal the beautiful naturally processed bean.