The East African country of Burundi is often overlooked for its coffee quality but produces some of the most exceptional coffees in the region. Within the country the northern highland district of Kayanza sits alongside the border with Southern Rwanda and is home to Burundi’s highest quality coffees.
Most farmers in Burundi own land with a few hundred trees at most. They pool their coffee together via centralised washing stations as is common throughout most of the wider region. These washing stations are owned by a mixture of government, multi-national corporation or smaller, local exporters. At Artisan Roast we have partnered with Ephrem Sebatigita, a local washing station owner and exporter who owns six washing stations. Of these, Ephram’s station at Munkaze produces his highest quality and some of the best in Burundi itself.
Burundi has traditionally produced washed coffee, with the washing stations all having unique variations on how they achieve their final product. In the case of Munkaze coffee is fermented overnight before being soaked for a further day after the mucilage has been removed. The outcome is a classic, bright and citrus forward bourbon cultivar.
This classic and bright style has led us to a light roast and we have focused on the bright red grapefruit and light muscovado sugar flavours of Munkaze. These two flavours are noticeable across all brew methods. Underneath these two primary flavours there are supporting characteristics of violet florals, maple syrup, dried dates, cranberry and sweet cedar. A red grape like acidity provides excellent structure, particularly on a filter brew, and a sugar syrup like mouthfeel enhances the muscovado like flavours.