Isende shows well in the City+ to FC range, chocolate and grain sweetness, inky body, and green tea notes. Espresso is delicious, creamy nougat sweetness, bittersweet chocolate, and tart lemon. City+ to Full City+. Good for Espresso.
Isende is a Farmer Business Group, essentially a cooperative effort by smallholder coffee farmers to pool resources, processing and marketing of their crop. In places like Tanzania, a buyer like us can't work with a small farmer directly since they might produce only 1 or 3 bags of coffee. You can't dry mill lots so small except by hand, you can't density-sort a single bag effectively. And the work on documentation and export would be ridiculous, especially in Tanzania where the bureaucracy for coffee exportation is a huge burden for large lot exports. But when small farmers organize into an FBG, neighbors can combine lots, can pulp and dry coffees together, and the coffee can be exported with greater ease. Isende is located in Mbeya's rural district, not too far from Mbeya town as the crow flies, but a good long drive on winding dirt roads. This 52-member cooperative was initially assisted by a global aid organization to form in 2007, but has since become self-sustaining since that NGO pulled out of the country. The Isende farmer group owns and operates their own Central Processing Unit ("CPU") which consists of a mechanical pulper, soaking tanks, and drying beds. The CPU sits at about 1800 meters and coffee grows as high as 2000. Because of the altitude and microregion, they get a bit of fog, which tends to slow the drying process a bit, but nowhere near causing concern. The varieties planted are Kents, Mbozi Mission and Moshi type, all variations of Bourbon coffee.
The fragrance has a smell of caramel popcorn, sweet caramelizing sugars and toasted grain, familiar for this region. The wet aroma sees a bolstered sweetness, brown sugar and nutmeg in light roasts, and Full City showing chocolate pudding and a hint of toasted coconut. City roasts really bring out notes of roasted barley and nut, and a bit of green tea. These lightest roasts have a finish that rides the line of heavily extracted black tea. We preferred our City+ and Full City roasts, inky body, a rich powdered cocoa flavor, and balanced sweetness. At Full City Isende shines as espresso, dark chocolate, creamy nougat sweetness, with a lemon zing at the tip of your tongue.