This coffee is from a private washing station located in Colline Rutovu. "Colline" is French for hill, and what the different highland areas in Burundi are referred to as. The station is a collection site for more than 3,000 farmers in the hillsides, small-holder farms, many are much less than 1 hectare of cultivated land adjacent to their homes. 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. Growing altitudes range from about 1400 to 1900 meters at the highest peaks. Like most of the region, Bourbon is the dominant varietal grown.
This Burundi has an invigorating smell of red raisin and spice, like raisin muffin, and with a sweet vanilla sugar scent underneath. The dry fragrance is complex, and a fairly accurate depiction of the cup to come. The wet aromatics show potent sweetness, butter and brown sugar come to mind, with light fruit and floral notes at the periphery. The cup flavor at City roast sees a mix of black teas, brisk and clean, with a sweetness that is fairly transparent, some "raw" elements that I liken to pressed cane juice too that add dimension. Subtle fruit notes mark the cup as the temp cools, raisin, cherry juice, and a tart lemon note come to mind. Warming spice and dried fruit notes gain momentum in the cooling cup, and I get a sense of holiday spice cake, or even rum raisin bread. Full City roasts are more intense, layered cocoa flavors are darn near aggressive, padded by dark sugar sweetness, and faint blueberry note. Full City roasts make incredible espresso shots, a dense chocolate syrup flavor, bittering nibs, and a lovely berry juice-like brightness.