Burundi

Shembati

Released April 13, 2015

Tasting notes

Candied orange, stone fruit
Medium bodied with medium acidity

This week’s coffee is a mix from three microlot farms in the southern Huila region of Colombia. Rosalba Burgos and Pedro Claros are both farmers in the town of Pitalito, and Deifilia Diaz’s farm is just over the hill in the town Acevedo.

As small lots of coffee from farms so close together, all of a similar quality, they were combined at the warehouse in Pitalito to add complexity and balance to the coffee. The combined lot is also more practical for export.

We were impressed by how great this coffee tastes, so we’re sharing it with you even though it’s not our usual single-farm approach.

What’s with the AAA?

The coffee industry often uses extra letters after the name of a coffee to indicate extra details about the beans. Not along ago we shared the Gakuyuni PB with subscribers, where the PB indicated a pea berry (there’s more detail on what pea berry means on that coffee page).

What letters are added and what they signify often varies depending on the country.

Virmax, our importing partner in Colombia, grades each coffee when it’s delivered by farmers in each town. To be considered for export through Virmax, the coffee needs to score at least 83.

A coffee which scores 83 or 84 is given an A grade, those scoring 85-86 are AA, and anything 87 and above is given a AAA grade score, the highest possible quality.

The price paid to the farmer increases to reflect the grade.

There’s a great interview with Virmax about their processes in Colombia and how they work with farmers to improve quality at the Square Mile Roasters blog.

What makes up Burundi Shembati?

The location

Coffee from Burundi

Coffee first arrived in Burundi in the 1920s while the country was still under Belgian colonial rule. Since the civil war in 1993 Burundi has placed a great importance on growing the coffee industry and the flow on effects that will have on the country’s economy.


The Kayanza region of Burundi

Northern region near the Rwandan border

Farm processes

Washed process

Machines are used to remove the flesh from the coffee cherry before being fermented in water, washed again, and finally sun dried. This process tends to result in more distinct, cleaner flavours.

3 brew notes from Sample Brew Crew

Coffee delivery: coffee in resealable bag and farm information card

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