The cup has dried fruit, sarsaparilla sweetness, golden raisin and is balanced yet bright. Tamarind notes come to the fore as the cup cools, so make sure to taste this cup throughout the temperature range. City+ to Full City, allow proper rest time.
Karinzi is a smallholder coffee cooperative affiliated with Sogestal Kayanza, located in north Burundi near the Rwanda border. A sogestal is the Burundi entity that oversees regional cooperatives, helping them warehouse and market their coffees. Also, Karinzi is in the middle of a name change, to Maruri Hill Cooperative, so we thought we would use both to identify the coffee. The coop has relied on the Sogestal for the wet-processing but in 2012 they are taking profits to buy a new Penagos pulper, and do all the processing themselves. This will help them retain more profit from the sale of their coffee lots, rather than processing fees.
Karinizi is a coffee defined by bittersweet character. Dried fruits and sugar browning notes seem to dominate this flavor profile in the different roasts we cupped. The dry fragrance demonstrates flavors ranging from raisin and apricot to cinnamon and brown sugar or even toffee . A Full City roast offered us more in terms caramelized beef fat and baker_‹_s chocolate. The crust on Karinizi gave a syrupy sweetness along the lines of cream soda and sarsaparilla. More dried apricot and sugar browning appeared in the break. Golden raisin and yes, more dried apricot, are the fruit forward flavors in the cup highlighted by a chocolate syrup finish. This is a coffee with solid mouth feel; not heavy but certainly full enough. A Full City roast showed us flavors more towards sarsaparilla, cola nut with a bittersweet finish.. Both the City + and Full City roasts were accentuated by the sweet and syrupy tamarind fruit at lower temperature. Karinizi is a _‹Ðtight_‹ coffee in the sense of it needing time to cool to show its true colors. The coffee works well for brighter espresso, straight or as a component in a blend. We found our best results hitting this coffee with a lot of heat up front and not giving too much time between first and second crack to settle into finish. Like Rwanda coffees, Burundi can throw a potato defect cup every so often.