The Taba washing station comes to us from Sogestal Kirimiro, and is located in a unique region far from where Kayanza and Ngozi lots are coming from. It is not far from Gitega, and has good access to roads with a relatively short trip to Bujumbura. The Sogestal system was set up to serve local farmers by providing much needed financing, fertilizers, moving coffee, etc. Kirimiro was ranked as one of the best Sogestals in Burundi based on management, ecology, and coffee quality. This is a large group - 15,000 members and more than 40 washing stations. There is a good deal of work put into lot separation, especially at the level of washing station. We were able to secure 6 very small "micro-lot" separations from 5 of the washing stations. This group of stations these coffees are from have a total of 33 contributing members, and elevation in the surrounding area is on average 1650 - 1700 meters. Coffee is trucked down to the Taba washing station from tiny family farms - basically plots adjacent to their homes - and then fully washed, fermented, and sun-dried on pyramidal beds. This lot is a mere 11 x 60 KG bags.
Straight from the grinder there's a sense of spiced elements and notes of sugar browning that I've come to expect from the better coffees of Burundi. The dry grounds are densely sweet and complex, and have a sort of floral honey smell with raisins, and clove spice. Full City roasts bring about a vanilla bean scent, with cinnamon bark, plum, and a bit of rosewood. Pouring hot water, there's a buttery caramel scent hanging heavy in the air, and it just seems to build going into the break. It's a sweet smelling coffee, and darker roasts get more into the unrefined, raw sugar scent, creating quite a lingering aroma. There's a straight-forward brown sugar sweetness in the cup. It's candy sweet, and shifts toward burned sugar in the long aftertaste. Apple and pear seem to be common flavors in Burundi coffees, and this one definitely has a nice spiced cider flavor, especially in the lighter roasts, like pressed apples, clove, cinnamon stick, and mace - refreshing, spicy, and sweet. Layered sugar and fruits are definitely the pronounced theme with this lot, and dark roasts continue on that path with more of a caramel sauce flavor - butter, sugar, and cream - as well as a note of plum hard candy. As a brewed coffee I personally loved our City+ roast, showing great complexity and with near-effervescent acidity. Dark roasts are still very juicy and sweet, and work great as a dual-purpose drip coffee/SO espresso option.