Matongo and Buramiro are two of the towns delivering to the cooperative Mpemba. This coop acts as a collection post for cooperative members, where they can sell their coffee, and where the coffee is processed. Mpemba is just one of several cooperatives, all part of a much larger association operating in the Kayanza district of Burundi. The cooperatives do intensive hand-sorting of the coffee right from the start. All the way from cherry deliver, to the drying parchment, groups of workers hover over the coffee picking out coffees with signs of 'defect'. We bought two lots from Mpemba this year, impressed by several of the samples we cupped back in late 2014.
The dry fragrance has an intoxicating mix of buttery sugar, baking spices, and tea-like florals. Spiced elements continue to bloom with the wetted coffee, and an emerging floral sugar note shows in the steam on the break. The cup is brisk, aspects of black tea and lemon promote a 'refreshing' aspect in the cup as well tie together a deep brown sugar sweetness with a smattering of top notes. In our City roast, we found notes of cranberry juice, tangelo, and green grape as the coffee cooled. This is an agreeable coffee in the roaster too, easily developed bourbon sweetness from City to Full City roast levels (for brewed coffee). Passing Full City you risk roast-eclipsed complexity - though drawing out this last leg will bode well for espresso, taming acidity, and developing a chocolatey sweetness.