It is time to go back to Africa for our new coffee of the month. The new
coffee hails from Burundi, Karuzi Province. Burundi is located west of
Tanzania with its westernmost border being the amazing Lake Tanganika.
It also borders Rwanda to the north and the coffee shares similarities with
that of its neighbour. Unrelated to coffee but a fantastic book about the
exploration of this region is “Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley
and Livingstone” by Martin Dugard, in case you are looking for a book to
read while drinking this delightful African coffee.
Coffee growing in Burundi was introduced in the 1930s by Belgians and it is
mainly handled by smallholder farmers. Most of the rural population was
obligated at one time to plant coffee at a rate of 50 trees per farmer. Most
of the cultivars are the traditional Bourbon variety, a variety I am very
familiar with since 20 years ago, about 90% of coffee planted in El
Salvador was Bourbon.
This coffee is fully washed, as most coffee in Burundi follows the
two-step fermentation method that you find in Kenya. Furthermore, it was
dried in raised beds as is most coffee found in the region. It was produced
in Karuzi province, located in central Burundi and not as known for its
coffee compared to the more recognized Ngozi and Kayanza provinces
from which most of Burundi’s high-quality coffee hails. Ubuto Producer
Group consists of 200 small farmers that combined efforts to bring this
micro-lot, which has notes of green apple and lime, with an acidic clarity
and delicate floral layer that indicates many years of bright, assertive
coffee ahead. It is a subtle cup that is mellow and delightful to drink
multiple times during the day.