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intro

Intro by Chris Kornman

You may have heard of Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian, the founder of JNP Coffees and not-for-profit Burundi Friends International. She’s a big deal.

Raised in a coffee-producing household in Ngozi, Burundi, Jeanine would go on to earn an MBA from Northwestern University’s prestigious Kellogg School. JNP coffees is highly focused on women empowerment, and Jeanine had undertaken to enlist the women working in coffee in Busiga near the Karahe washing station as members of the Burundi chapter of IWCA, the International Women’s Coffee Alliance. This is no small undertaking, as the average Burundi farmer frequently cultivates just a few dozen trees in their garden, meaning over two hundred women contributed their harvest to this microlot alone. In total, Jeanine’s network includes over 2,000 women in coffee production in Burundi.

We met a few years ago and have been in frequent contact, but it wasn’t until February of 2020 that we were finally able to ink a deal. Jeanine does her own importing, so this coffee had already arrived in the US, all we had to do was taste it and draw up the contracts and book a truck to retrieve it from the Annex. I’d requested a small lot, perhaps 5-10 bags, but the coffee is so tasty — zippy tangerine acidity, some light cinnamon and oolong tea notes, a bit of blackberry and apple cider — we had to grab the whole lot. There’s not a ton, just a handful of CJ boxes and a few bags, but you’d definitely be wise to grab a bit before it’s gone.

Coffee has been grown in and around Burundi for many hundreds of years; robusta is native to nearby regions. Yet specialty Burundi coffee is usually pinned to post-genocide relief efforts. As in neighboring Rwanda, Burundi’s people struggled to overcome incredible tragedy. International aid identified coffee as a potential crop to help elevate and rebuild, and differentiated specialty production can make the difference in sending kids to school and keeping food on the table. In Kayanza and Ngozi, the heart of the nation’s coffee production regions, competition for cherry can be fierce, so washing stations may pay well above the country’s minimum price to court premium harvests. JNP coffee goes a step further, returning second payments to farmers and investing in opportunities for education and community building.

There’s a lot to love about this coffee. We’re really proud to have a small part in its journey to your cup.

green

Green Analysis by Elise Becker

This delicious Crown Jewel from the Burundi chapter of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance comes with solid green stats – average water activity, about average moisture content, and slightly below average density (surprisingly so for a Burundi). The screen size is 75% 16-18, with those three screens roughly 25% each.  It will likely take heat well. For some detailed notes, check out Chris, Evan, and Candice’s writeups for heat application on this coffee.

Robusta is the native coffee in nearby regions, but this lot is made up of local Bourbon cultivars, including Jackson and Mbrizi. Jackson takes its name from the original farmer in Mysore, India, who selected trees on his farm that were tolerant to coffee leaf rust (although that tolerance has since been eroded and the variety is now considered susceptible to rust) and sent the seedlings to research stations in Kenya and Tanzania in the 1920s. Mbrizi boasts exceptional cup quality and drought resistance, but is also highly susceptible to rust.

taste

ikawa

Ikawa Analysis by Chris Kornman

 

We’ve updated our V2 Ikawa Pro machines with the latest Firmware version (24) and run on “closed loop” setting. Our roasters underwent full service in October of 2018 which included replacement heating elements and an updated PT 1000 temperature sensor, and were recalibrated in September 2019.

I’ve roasted this coffee a handful of times now, first for approval as a pre-shipment sample, and a few times since it arrived. It has a tendency to crack just a little later than average. Despite its density, surprisingly low for a Burundi, it behaves similarly to higher-density coffees in this regard as it approaches first crack. I really enjoyed the juicy results this roast produced, despite the relatively short development time.

My sample roasting and cupping routine this week was thrown off a little bit by the fact that the first sample I got in the mail from our stalwart team at the office sat out in the sun for a few hours by my mailbox. An unfortunate circumstance, as the package was sweltering-hot when I picked it up, and when I cupped it, it showed strong evidence of quality damage. I popped a request for new coffee into Mike Cummings in the sample lab, and was rewarded with a much sweeter and juicier second try.

This is a super coffee and I’m very excited about sharing it. The roast here will give you a solid starting point for a sample batch, offering up a lot of fun fruity notes from apple cider to tangerine and blackberry, with a lovely tea-like quality and some delectable sweet pastry notes and a buttery viscosity.

You can download the profile to your Ikawa Pro app here:

Roast 1: Crown Standard SR 1.0

Quest M3s

Quest M3s Analysis by Candice Madison

I’ve cracked it! Again… I’m always amused at the joy I get out of re-familiarizing myself with a roaster – or any machine really. I got my first adult bike in college, and other than taking a head first tumble into a frozen puddle of water in the early hours of a Friday night, I got the feeling back pretty quickly. I felt the exact way about this week’s roasting; zero effort, loads of fun! This coffee is triple washed, so I was expecting it to roast extremely evenly, but probably needing more energy throughout the entirety of the roast.

I love Burundi coffees, not only are they delicious, they are definite crowd-pleasers to boot. I wanted to roast this coffee to be just that. I wanted to capture the fruit notes and fruit acids by being aggressive at the front of my roasts. To control any issues with heat retention by this little beastie, I made sure to start with a low gas of 5 amps, charging the drum at 390 degrees F. This is the same charge temperature that I use on the Probatino, however, this machine has no insulation, and whilst it does retain heat, it also transfers it fairly quickly after a plateau to both the coffee and air. Starting at this higher temperature allows me to manipulate the airflow and heat to a more finicky degree later in the roast. As I wanted to spend the majority of the roast in the second stage, I turned up the heat to the max I use on this machine, 9 amps and the fan up to the max (9). I recorded the first coloring at 290 degrees F, and turned the heat down to 7 amps, cutting the fan completely. At around 330 degrees F, I noticed that the coffee was taking off, so I turned the heat down to 6 amps, putting the fan up to 5 to discourage stalling, which seemed to do the trick. At 360, since the coffee’s RoC had slowed down, I turned the fan off completely, to keep as much heat in the drum as possible.

First crack started at 390 degrees F, at which point I turned the heat down to 3 amps and turned the fan up to 9 (maximum output). At 394 degrees F, I cut the fan and heat to zero. As the coffee wasn’t really rising, and I wanted to avoid any baked coffee.

Although I would have preferred the coffee to rise a little more (next time, I will turn the heat off at 385 degrees F, and turn it back up at first crack, giving the coffee it needs to push through first crack faster and further into development.

The cupping was as forgiving as the coffee – delicious, and I can only imagine, in other iterations, it would be equally so. At the cupping table, I got Acacia honey, cranberry and orange, with a lovely dried fruit sweetness. The coffee is clean, bright and almost like drinking juice. I would very much enjoy this as a flash brew afternoon pick-me-up, as the weather gets warmer and the days finally get longer, I may even have a second cup!

behmor

Behmor Analysis by Evan Gilman

 

Unless otherwise noted, I follow a set standard of operations for all my Behmor roasts. Generally, I’ll use the 1lb setting, manual mode (P5), full power, and high drum speed until crack. Read my original post and stats here. 

This Burundi was a super fun coffee to roast. While I can’t say that I’ve roasted a ton of coffees from this origin, I do know that they tend to be super dense, and crack very loudly and consistently – similar to a Kenya. What’s different here is the zesty dried fruit and citrus notes I get from Burundi coffees.

For this roast, I followed my usual parameters: 100% power and manual roasting, with high drum speed at the start. I engaged P4 (75%) at 10:20, since I wanted to cruise into first crack, which happened 15 seconds later at 10:35. I opened the door of the roaster for 30 seconds at 10:55 in order to slow down the roast a bit since I felt that it was really rushing through a very loud first crack. This coffee didn’t need much push after all. I hit “COOL” at 11:40 to stop the roast.

The result is something I’m still mulling over. Lots of bright cranberry and lime, and a touch of the raisiny sweetness I usually associate with Burundi coffees. This roast is eminently chuggable, but I feel like I could have taken it a bit slower through Maillard and eased my way into first crack a little better. This would have allowed more of the raisiny sweetness and less drying cranberry notes to come through – and I do have a sweet tooth.

This coffee takes on heat well. Make sure to mellow out through Maillard by reducing heat application on the early side, and don’t be afraid of drawing this roast out just a bit with the Behmor!

brew

Brew Analysis by Evan Gilman

My first brew of this coffee was with the Chemex – my default these days. I found my extraction below to be quite pleasing, but perhaps a bit bracing for those unused to lighter roast coffee. My usual practice of a 1:17 ratio with outwardly-swirling pours, in pulses of 175g, got me an extraction percentage of over 23%, which is a really strong brew. Cranberry, apple, cocoa powder and bright green grape fairly slapped me across the face in this one! There is a lot of soluble material here.

I wanted to mellow this out a bit, and let some of the gentle fruit flavors to come through. To that end, I wanted to try a bypass brew, and a slightly coarser grind. I didn’t just do that, however; this time I decided to experiment with bypass brewing. While my final brew was technically a 1:17 ratio of coffee to water, I went about my pours thusly over the course of 3:45’:

  • 85g preinfusion for one minute
  • Pulse pour to 185g
  • Pulse pour to 285g
  • Pulse pour to 400g
  • Add 280g water to final 680g total

The result was a brew that exhibited this coffee’s sweetness much more accurately. Violet and dried date came out clearly, and on cooling I got some serious mixed fruit preserve notes. Ever had the four fruits Bonne Maman? Like that. Oh, and peachie-o gummies. I should be clear that this isn’t a natural coffee, with the fruit flavors folks expect of a natural, but rather a light and clear fruit character. Still, verging on jammy!

If you can’t draw out the roast on this coffee, I would certainly recommend trying a bypass brew. This really opened up the coffee for me, and gave me a whole new appreciation.

Origin Information

Grower
Members of Burundi chapter of IWCA, organized around the Karehe washing station and JNP Coffee, Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian
Variety
Local Bourbon cultivars including Jackson & Mbrizi
Region
Busiga Region, Ngozi Province, Burundi
Harvest
March - July
Altitude
1760 masl
Soil
Volcanic loam
Process
Triple Washed: Cherries floated prior to pulping, fermenting, washing, and soaking, then dried on raised beds.
Certifications
Staff Picks

Background Details

Want to support women in coffee? Here is one of those rare opportunities where all that is good about coffee intersect. First, Burundi is truly a place where coffee trade done well can positively impact the lives of many who otherwise suffer from the constant uncertainty of civil unrest. Second, Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian, who was born and raised in Burundi has made it her mission to establish a coffee export company called JNP Coffee that focuses on empowering women producers. And third, this lot comes from the Karehe growing region, which has repeatedly shown superior quality with consecutive top finishes in the Cup of Excellence competitions. In Burundi it is common for producers to harvest from just a few dozen trees, which means Jeanine has a network of 2000 women producers all members of the Burundi chapter of the International Women's Coffee Alliance (IWCA) who are committed to a model of earning more with quality premiums generated from collective empowerment. For this lot more than 200 women delivered their very best cherry to the washing station in Karehe where there is additional classification including hand sorting and floating the cherry. The cherry is gently dried on raised beds until the moisture reaches 11 percent, after which the coffee is stored in grainpro bags until it is time to prepare for export. A strong reputation in the international community allows Jeanine to pay well above the government minimum for cherry and pay women to sort while the coffee dries in preparation for export.