DR CONGO / WASHED
A bold and lavish coffee oozing flavours of chocolate, black cherry and lemon citrus.
Producer: 89 Farmers of SOPACDI’s Karango Washing Station
Region: Karango Village, Kalehe Territory, South-Kivu Province, DRC
Process: Fully Washed
Altitude: 1750m - 1550m asl
Coffee from the Democratic Republic of Congo has all the hallmarks of high quality, high grown Bourbon arabica coffee from the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa, and for anyone who loves great Rwandan or Burundian coffee, Karango is the coffee for you.
Much of the coffee in the DRC grows from the Western shore of Lake Kivu, upwards into the rolling shade covered mountains. Smallholdings, as with neighbouring Rwanda across Lake Kivu, are tiny at around half a hectare or less, from which each small holding family has a few hundred coffee trees on which to make a livelihood. Processing in the DRC is similar in style to much of Central and East Africa, whereby small holders deliver their ripe coffee cherries to centralised washing and processing stations where it's further sorted before being pulped.
One regional co-operative SOPACDI is raising the quality of coffee by producing smaller, high quality washing station specific micro-lots. They do this by getting a smaller number of producers to deliver their crop, helping make a more terroir focused micro-lot with more vibrancy and clarity to the coffee.
This selection from Karango is one such coffee, and brings a bold, fruit forward expression of Congolese coffee to the cup. Ripe plum and black cherry flavours sit alongside notes of treacle toffee and chocolate. A syrupy sweet and viscous mouth feel supports this fruitiness and a lemon citrus acidity adds balance and interest to the aftertaste.
The crisp citrus and black fruit flavours will shine on a filter coffee, supported by the moreish treacle like flavours. We’ve roasted this with espresso in mind as well and have developed the roast profile full enough for balancing your drinks. With these shorter drinks dark fruits again take centre-stage, this time with a rich dark chocolate like foundation. The fruit is enhanced by a dense and jammy mouthfeel that balances off the zestiness of the citrus. Here’s a recipe we’ve enjoyed in our quality lab as a suggested starting point:
Ratio: 1 : 2.26 ratio / 19g : 43g
Brew time: 28 - 30 seconds
Brew Temperature: 92.5°C
If you’re not sure about ratios this means ‘dry coffee weight: brewed coffee weight’. Weight is a more consistent way of measuring than volume and we always recommend using an inexpensive set of digital scales that have 0.1g resolution when brewing at home.
If you can change the temperature of your espresso machine, we’ve added notes on preferred temperature as well. Changing temperature can impact on the types of flavours most present as well as the intensity of the acidity in an espresso.