Risca has a complex profile, but cup flavors show restraint, and in that way are well-balanced. Citrus flavors and acidity meld nicely with tea and spiced top notes, all atop a base sweetness of light brown sugar. A structured, "highlight" Burundi coffee. City to Full City.
We picked up a couple lots from the folks at Risca this year, this being the smallest at 18 x 60 kg bags. It's our first year buying from them, a relatively new private mill in the Mutambu area of Bujumbura Province. They buy cherry from the few thousand village farmers in the hillsides, most with less than 1 hectare planted in coffee. Bourbon is the dominant varietal, and altitude in this region reaches up to 1900 meters at the highest peaks. Coffee cherry is hand-picked, then delivered to the station where it is fully washed, fermented, and then dried on raised beds. Hand sorting is a major factor of quality control, starting with the freshly picked cherry, and ending at the dry mill.
Straight from the grinder, this coffee's complex fragrance is easily sensed. There's a mingling of spice notes - clove and cardamom come to mind - with tea-like floral qualities, and a heavy scent of vanilla bean and brown sugar. The wet crust has notes of baked apple and spices, with berry syrup on the break. The aromatics allude to a complex cup, which it is. But it's a much more restrained set of flavors than an Ethiopia or Kenya coffee. City roasts have a flavor of pink grapefruit, sweet and tart, and well-incorporated citric acidity. A light brown sugar sweetness fills out the base and goes long in the finish, and tea (think cascara tartness) and spice notes build cup complexity. In the realm of African coffees, this isn't the most outrageous or "exotic" African coffee, but a very drinkable, dare I say "special" Burundi cup. An excellent brewed coffee.