Hot on the heels of Kecho Tirtira launched last week, we are very excited to be rolling out not one but two more African coffees!
First up, Bokasso from Ethiopia Sidama region. Love at first whiff, this is how we would describe the first time we pulled an espresso shot of this new coffee. Overwhelmed by the bouquet of floral notes from the cup, we can’t stop tasting this espresso.
Sidama is famous for its clean, floral, and citric washed coffees and “high quality” sundried with genuine and unique red berry flavors. The Sidama zone covers a large area with very different growing conditions. You can find highland areas of forest coffees in remote places as well as dense production in the well-known areas like Aleto, Wondo, Darra, and Dale. There are currently about 50 Cooperatives in Sidama with a total of 90,000 members. Natural sundried coffees are common, but the majority of the coffee is washed. There are mainly small family plots of both recently planted trees of improved varietals and traditional old varieties. The variety is called Sidamo type. Organic fertilizer is common, pruning less common. All the cooperatives in Ethiopia belong to a Union, in this case the Sidamo Union, that sell and export the coffee. They also take care of dry milling and grading before export.
This is a really special espresso. Expect loads and loads of candy sweetness complemented by a delicate citrus acidity that is balanced so nicely by the juiciness of berries and black tea. You will come back for more.
- Cooperative: Bokasso
- Zone: Dale, Sidama
- Woreda/Local municipality: Wonsho
- Altitude: About 2000 masl
- Varietals: Ethiopian Heirloom. Improved varietals and native coffee of forest origin
- transferred to family smallholder plots and gardens. In this case referred to as Sidamo type
- Processing: Pulped and wet fermented, graded in washing channels, soaked in water and sundried.
- Drying: Sun dried 10 – 15 days on African drying beds on hessian cloths.
- Coffees are covered in plastic during midday and at night.
Our 2nd coffee is for filter brew. From a country not as well-known as Ethiopia, but still produces some excellent coffees in our opinion.
Burundi is a small landlocked country bordering Rwanda in the north, Tanzania to the southeast and Lake Tanganyika and Congo to the west. The country have about 10 million citizens, where of 600,000 is coffee farmers. Coffee and tea is the two main export commodities.
Even though Burundi started with coffee production generations ago, it is only in recent years (2008) that the washing stations/mills opened the possibility of direct contracts to target the specialty coffee market. This makes it easier to separate and select the finest coffees. With volcanic soils, a rainfall of 1300 mm per annum, the growing conditions are good. To increase yield, the farmers need soil treatment, and working with proper organic fertilizer such as compost can more than double the average yield from 2kg to 5 kg per tree. The predominant variety is Bourbon and the coffee is mainly cultivated at altitudes from 1300 – 2000 meters above sea level.
The coffee we brought in is from a relatively new cooperative in the Kayanza area. The 2011 season was their first year of production, but the management has for years worked at some of the most prestigious coffee washing stations in the area.
In the cup, we tasted stonefruit acidity reminiscent of juicy red plums and raspberries. A balanced cup that gives a good mouthfeel on every sip on top of a pleasant sweetness. Look out for the floral notes at the end - we tasted rosehips and hibiscus, which makes this cup stands out from the others we cupped.
- Washing station: Dusangirijambo
- Cooperative: Karinzi Coffee
- Region: Kayanza
- Commune/Local municipality: Karinzi
- Altitude: Located at 1650 – 2000 masl
- Producers: About 400 smallholders.
- Varietals: Different traditional types of Bourbon
- Production: Pulped with mechanical mucilage removal and washed, soaked over night
- in water and, skin dried under shade with intense parchment hand-sorting before sundried
- on African beds.
- Drying: Skin dried and sorted under shade for 1 day. Sundried 14 – 20 days on African
- drying beds on nylex. Covered in plastic or shade nets during midday and at night.