Burundi

  • Roast of the Month: Victrola Burundi Mpanga

    It’s a tale of twin processes this month for SCG’s Roast of the Month! We’re excited to share Victrola’s Burundi Mpanga single origins. One of these roasts is a washed process, and the other is a honey process. We hope our customers will give each one a try to better understand how process effects flavor!

    Both of these coffees are from the same producer from Nyangwe Hill’s prestigious coffee farms. From there, the coffee is processed differently, allowing the end customer to experience the different flavor profiles the processes impart. To best evaluate them side by side, we recommend brewing as a pour over. From there though, let your imagination run wild! There’s so much joy to be had in exploring the ways to get the most out of each coffee.

    Mpanga Washed

    Washed process coffee is fully cleaned of the cherry before drying and shipping. This means no trace of the cherry is allowed to ferment and impart flavors after harvesting. 

    For this roast, the result is mild, sweet flavors that are clean and balanced. Expect notes of soft fruit, brown sugar, and raisin. We find this one to be delicious and easy to drink, as well as versatile. While we recommend trying them side by side as pour overs, this roast works particularly well as a drip or press brew too.

    Mpanga Honey

    For a quick refresher on honey process coffee: A honey process splits the difference between washing all of the mucilage off of the bean and allowing the whole cherry to ferment on the bean like in a natural. Honey process coffee is hulled, but the mucilage isn’t fully washed off, allowing for a honey like wrap to develop on the bean. 

    In practice, this gives this roast more unique and striking notes than its counterpart. Victrola lists notes of Maple syrup, cherry cola, and graham cracker. You’ll get plenty of sweetness that hits different parts of the palate differently, and a bright acidity that pulls the notes together. A great pour over, this roast also results in a sweet and delicious espresso!

    Again, we can’t recommend trying both of these roast side by side enough!

     

  • Burundi Coffee Tour - The Story Behind The Coffee

    BurundiTour

    In the Headquarters of Seattle Coffee Gear, we’ve been dying to put together a special package of coffee that would excite your taste buds. This couldn’t be any ordinary package of coffee. We wanted to take you somewhere—somewhere luscious banana groves sway in the wind and coffee tree rows stripe the earth. One ticket to Burundi, please.

    Olympia Coffee Roasting sent us an amazing selection of three coffees from Burundi with different processing techniques: washed, natural and honey. Each process changed our experience of Burundi. We noticed the washed was bursting with citrus notes and sugary tea. The natural—oh man—the natural, smelled and tasted like grandma’s blueberry cobbler. And the honey was, as the name suggested, thick bodied with notes of honey and fruit. As we leaned back in our chairs and relished each cup, we knew these coffees deserved a one-way ticket to Burundi—in the form of our Limited Edition Burundi Coffee Tour.

    Our Burundi Coffee Tour comes with three 12-ounce bags of Olympia Coffee Roastings Nkonge Honey, Long Miles Reserve Natural and Mikuba (washed) for the ultimate journey that you can share with family and friends. Or perfect for adventurous coffee drinkers seeking to experience and compare the different processing techniques.

    Olympia Coffee Roasting & Long Miles Coffee Project

    Of course, after blissfully sipping a toasty cup from our Burundi Coffee Tour, we grew curious about the origin of these delectable coffees and did a little more research. As it turns out, all three coffees were produced by the Long Miles Coffee Project, one family’s dream to change the local coffee industry. This project has captured our hearts and brought attention a side of coffee we don’t always encounter—the coffee farmers. At Seattle Coffee Gear, we work closely with our roasters to taste their latest blends or single origins. Our roasters, on the other hand, build relationships with the coffee farmers. Olympia Coffee Roasting has supported the Long Miles Coffee Project from the beginning of their journey to help transform Burundi, one of the poorest countries in the world. This was a chance for us to understand the world of coffee farming—and they filmed it all to share with everyone.

    Video produced by the Long Miles Project and Olympia Coffee Roasting.

    While continuing to savor the warm aroma of blueberry cobbler coffee, we watched their 10-minute documentary of coffee in Burundi. The Carlson family; Ben, Kristy and their kids, Neo, Myles, and Ari, had a dream to produce amazing coffee and care for the community who grew it. It goes without saying, to have the coffee thrive, the community needed to thrive too. We’ve been following their journey through their blog posts, too, and there’s a connection between the family and the farmers that you can sense through their posts.

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    In the video, Ben explains one of the hardships Burundi coffee farmers face is the dreaded potato defect—where the coffee truly tasted like a raw potato and not the delicious, golden fried ones we all love. Over 20% of the crops are affected by this potato taste and it’s all because of this little bug, the Antestia, which bores into the coffee cherries and leaves a hole for bacteria to enter. The solution was simple. The Carlson’s moved their family to Burundi and started the Long Miles Coffee Project to collaborate with Burundi coffee farmers and educate them on how to maintain their coffee trees to reduce the Antestia bug. “Our challenge is actually our opportunity,” Ben says in the video.

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    From there, the transformation can only be described in the way this coffee tastes. You truly get to experience the fruits of their labor through the quality of these cups. Burundi, as we learned through reading the Long Miles Coffee Project’s blog posts, is in political turmoil. The coup d’état uprooted the Carlson family and it’s only this April that we saw another blog post from Kristy and learned they’re ready for harvesting their coffee for another year. We’re excited to see what next year's coffees will be. For now, we’ll continue to enjoy our Burundi Coffee Tour.

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