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There is so much to celebrate in this coffee. It is the first Burundi we've received from our friends at Rosetta Roastery since we first started working with them back in 2014. It's not just any Burundi either. It's from the farmers of the Long Miles Coffee Project who have helped produce some of the best Burundis we've tasted over the last few years. Last, but not least, it's a natural processed coffee, meaning that the coffee cherries were dried in their fruit. We don't get many of these from our friends at Rosetta, so this is an opportunity to savour!
In the cup, this coffee is a bright, tangy and sweet fruity sensation. Much like many of the Long Miles Burundis we've tasted, it has lots of berry notes, as well as hints of stewed and stone fruit. Rosetta have managed to coax out a particularly enjoyable bright characteristic however. You may be reminded of plum skin, especially on the finish. This is quite surprising given that it's a natural, which typically have more muted acidities.
In terms of brewing recommendations, we have one word for you: pour-over! It's a lovely coffee in any method, but you've got to try it in a Hario V60.
Style: Progressive | A full palate of tart strawberries over velvety black plum
Of course I was flushed! Cheeks all strawberry red. I’d run to her place, only to be greeted by a spider the size of a Buick! I was gonna kill it with a copy of the National Review, but it ran under her velvet plum throw. Then she offers me chocolate milk! What am I? Her son?
Naturals normally burst with energy at first crack, and practically roast themselves. Ordinarily, one can pretty much cut all heat input once the beans have gone exothermic, and still come out with a beautifully developed result. This is not the case with the rather stubborn Mutana Hills Red Bourbon Natural. Despite being particularly aggressive at first crack, we still found first crack incredibly elusive. A good deal of each batch appears as though it hasn't fully cracked, and yet the flavour profile (our most important point of reference) still yields a delightfully clean fruity profile, with no hints of underdevelopment. Lessons to be learnt? Let each bean tell you what it needs in the roaster, and don't be too concerned with someone else's roasting conventions.
Because of all the perils of natural processing (the potential for over-ripe fruit, mildew, unpleasant fermentation notes, etc.), a management team's attention to detail comes into particularly sharp focus when producing them. But luckily, the pioneering Long Miles Coffee Project team are no strangers to the sort of effort it requires to achieve specialty grade naturals. Farming families on the nearby Mutana Hill region deliver select cherries to LMCP's Heza Washing Station. The ripe coffee cherries are dried whole on raised beds for over 22 days, during which time the cherries are constantly hand-sorted, and turned every seven hours to prevent any uneven drying, or the onset of mildew. If you're already sipping on a cup of this beauty, you'll notice that it is a particularly clean example of a natural coffee, and this is, in large part, due to the meticulous management of the drying process.
- Producer(s): The New Ngariama Farmers’ Cooperative Society
- Mill: Kainamui Washing Station
- Region: Kirinyaga County, Kenya
- Country: Burundi
- Altitude: 1,950 - 2,200m ASL
- Processing: Natural
- Variety: Red Bourbon
- Harvest: 2016/2017