This is a traditional natural coffee from Ngozi, Burundi, produced by smallholders working with JNP Coffee to earn premiums, empower women in the workforce, and improve sustainable production.
The flavor profile is fruity without hints of processing or fermentation, led by pineapple, cherry, and a subtle, pleasant florality.
Our roasters found the coffee may benefit from extending the Maillard reaction phase, and caution that first crack may occur a little later than usual.
When brewed we enjoyed the coffee as a pour-over and are serving it as such at The Crown.
Taste Analysis by Sandra Loofbourow
This coffee is wild. With very intense fruit flavors and an incredible sparkling acidity, it tastes like a fresh juicy pineapple with dark cherry syrup. The finish is pleasantly astringent, like black tea and bergamot, and has a coating mouthfeel. Honestly, it’s the kind of coffee you keep going back into to figure out what else is in the cup. I’m thrilled to be serving it as a pour–over at The Crown this weekend!
Source by Charlie Habegger
Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian, the founder of JNP Coffee, is without a doubt one of the most influential individuals in Burundi coffee today.
Raised in the capital city of Bujumbura, Jeanine would go on to earn an MBA from Northwestern University’s prestigious Kellogg School, cycle through corporate America, and eventually reconnect with her birth country by founding Burundi Friends International, a not-for-profit funding educational and economic empowerment programs for rural Burundians, which is now in its 13th year. After a few years marketing Burundi coffees stateside for friends and family, Jeanine realized she had every reason to lead the business, and JNP Coffee was born.
Coffee grown in Ngozi Province has a special meaning for Jeanine, as that is where her mother grew up. Memories of her mother, leading the family’s coffee harvest to cover school fees, are woven into the name for this coffee. Bavyeyi in Kirundi translates to “parents,’’ a name given to honor the generations of hardworking parents, like Jeanine’s, whose labor in coffee (something many farming families either do not consume or cannot afford to consume) provides shelter, nourishment, and educational opportunities to their children. The producer group is women-owned and works closely with JNP Coffee’s trained Q Graders in Burundi on best quality practices and lot curation. Indeed, this coffee itself is comprised of five unique processing lots from different days throughout harvest.
Drying naturals in the high and cool Ngozi climate is a painstakingly slow process, often taking 45 to 60 days to complete, during which the coffee is continuously circulated for even air exposure. Despite having one of the longest drying periods in the world, the cup profile is noticeably mild in process, expressing a piqued raisin sweetness, rich almond paste, and brisk orange acidity.
JNP Coffee is highly focused on women’s empowerment, and along with a few local women’s rights advocates, supported the Burundi chapter of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance. The network of IWCA farmer members in Burundi whose coffee is differentiated by membership, marketed for its traceability and impact, and which generates end-of-year premiums for all involved is now more than 2,000 strong. JNP Coffee has created additional programs to expand their farmer base and generate Dushime™ premiums. It seems they can’t expand fast enough. 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.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
This natural coffee from Ngozi has been perfectly dried. There’s almost nothing more important that can be done for quality preservation before shipping and roasting, and it’s a testament to the dedication to quality undertaken by the people of the Bavyeyi group. Burundi’s climate and topography are exceptional for growing coffee but can make post-harvest processing a challenge. Afternoon rains can rise from over the nearest ridge in a heartbeat, and while covering drying coffee helps prevent rehydration it also extends the drying time. While risky, the extra drying time helps to set moisture and water activity and prevent damage during transit and storage which is an especially important concern as Burundi is landlocked and must export coffee across an international border (usually Tanzania) and through a hot coastal port (usually Dar Es Salaam). The usual long delays from approval to arrival were further complicated this year by COVID-19 related international shipping delays, and so were even more grateful that this coffee was set up for success at the drying tables.
Additional physical specs include a lower-than-expected density (especially for the high elevations where the trees are grown) and a very common albeit somewhat wide spread of screen sizes at mostly 15-18 (most specialty grade Burundi coffee is exported as 15+). The density metric is especially unusual, as most specialty grade coffee in Burundi is manually floated before processing (including natural coffee) to help remove floaters and foreign matter.
Local cultivars are largely traditional and legacy plants handed down generationally since the 1930s and 40s. Widely assumed to be predominately French Mission (Bourbon) variants, World Coffee Research has uncovered deeper histories into the two most common local iterations grown in Burundi and nearby Rwanda. Jackson (a Bourbon type plant) is the surname of coffee farmer in India who identified the tree as rust-resistant; seedlings were then sent to other British occupied coffee growing regions in Kenya and Tanzania. Mbrizi (a Typica type) is thought to have been introduced from Guatemala to Rwanda. Neither tree is considered disease resistant, but both tend to produce excellent cup quality despite relatively low yields.
Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Candice Madison
Burundi! Love the origin, love the coffee, love the producer. What more can I say? Jeanine does incredible work sourcing outstanding coffees and ensuring the empowerment of women in the supply chain. Hits all of my markers straight out of the gate.
This is one of two coffees we are analyzing from Burundi this week. This one comes with a lower density than I would have thought in such a high grown coffee, but it has almost ideal moisture readings, so that already indicates to me that I need to be a little more careful with the roast process than usual. The screen size is rather widely spread, meaning it behooves me to take care not to scorch the smaller beans. At this density, I’m not too worried about uneven roasting due to screen size spread.
I wanted to work more with airflow to make changes to the flavor profile, so I made it my mission to make as few gas changes as possible. I’m looking to change up the way in which I roast, and the way I’m using the machine. There’s nothing wrong with taking stock once in a while. I love the coffee I produce, but proficiency on the machine, and being used to something can make you stale. To the roaster!
I dropped the coffee in at 380F with 90% gas and 0% airflow. At the turn, I pushed the air to 100%, which might have been a mistake. Roasting this again – which I will, I will most likely leave the airflow at 0% or switch it to 50% only. Without too much investigation, I think the higher airflow on this particular roast extended rather than shortened the drying phase – not by much, but enough to notice.
Turning down the airflow and gas allowed me to extend the Maillard phase by around 40 seconds, to get my hands – or tastebuds – on all the sweetness I usually associate with coffees from this origin. However, I made the rookie mistake of not turning the gas down before first crack – because of this, the coffee took off at first crack and climbed far more quickly in temperature than I would have liked. My plan was to drop the coffee with 15% development at 397/8 F. I pulled the coffee out at 13% development, as the temperature had breached 400F. There is nothing wrong with either of these two metrics, but every roaster will tell you, if a roast profile doesn’t go to plan, you’ll mull it over for a really long time, at least until you hit the cups!
No pulpy, ‘process-driven’ flavor notes – just what I hoped to show off. The cups were a little less sweet, and lighter in body than I had desired, but I knew just how to fix that, and now so do you!
Red plum and tart cherry were most evident in my cups. The sweetness was reminiscent of sugar cane juice, with a little light caramel in there. As the cups cooled, I began to get notes of freeze-dried red berries and vanilla. The lemon and lime acidity, coupled with a light, smooth body kept the coffee from becoming cloying and overly simple. I might dust off my Clever dripper and try a full immersion brew of this Ngozi jewel with a little French toast this birthday morning!
Quest M3s Analysis by Evan Gilman
Unless otherwise noted, I follow a set standard of operations for all my Quest roasts. Generally, I’ll allow the machine to warm up for 15 minutes until my environmental temperature reading is at least 250F, weigh out 150g batch size, and begin roasting when I’ve reached my desired charge temperature. Read my initial post here and my updated post here.
Ready for a brand new feeling, I stepped up to the Quest to roast this stellar natural offering from Ngozi’s misty climes.
This roast started off at a standard temperature of 386F – not too high, not too low. Compared to my roast of the other Burundi coffee this week, however, it really dipped further before turning point – about 5 degrees further. This is despite the same heat and airflow application (10A at start with full fan, and fan cut off at turning point). I attribute this difference specifically to the larger spread of screen sizes this lot has; different size beans mean the mass of coffee will need more thermal ‘push.’
From that point, I adjusted down heat to 7.5A at 300F / 3:40, and further to 5A at 320F / 4:15 as the coffee seemed to be chugging along at a nice pace. Since I know natural coffees have a tendency to continue climbing in temperature after first crack, I increased fan speed to full a little earlier than normal at 355F / 5:25 in order to really let this coffee roll smoothly into first crack. Just before first crack (385F / 7:00), I cut heat application entirely. Like its companion, this coffee cracked quite late at 388F / 7:06, but I was able to get 14.5% post crack development, with a slightly higher end temperature of 400F.
Now, I thought my roast loss percentage was rather high at 13.6%, but upon further inspection, I found that many beans had made it through the top chute of the roaster and into the chaff collection area of the Quest! Let this be a lesson on complacent loading of the Quest M3s; take it slow, and all your beans will make it into the roast chamber. So, knowing that my roast loss percentage was probably a little lower (something like 12.5%), I went ahead with the tasting.
Milk chocolate sweetness and bright zesty raspberry were my immediate notes, but as the cup cooled, I got more sugary fruits like dried strawberry (Candice’s notes of freeze dried red fruit were spot on!) and fresh fig. There isn’t a hint of pulpiness here, and the finish is a lasting harmony of subtle tropical fruit like banana or perhaps a touch of custard apple / soursop.
This coffee was great as a filter drip, but I really do think it would be an excellent candidate for espresso as well. Full immersion, or more dissolved solids in general could really make this coffee shine. Try a French press or an AeroPress if you don’t have an espresso machine just lying around! You won’t be disappointed.
Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Nate Lumpkin
As of September 2020 we are running all Crown Jewel Analysis roasts on an Ikawa Pro V3, using the most recent app and firmware version on “closed loop” setting.
This is first chance at tasting coffees from Burundi and I gotta say I’m very excited. We‘re lucky enough at the Crown to get to serve this coffee on pour-over, and it was a pleasure to roast as well. It roasted very easily in the Ikawa, but of all the roasts, one of them was a clear favorite. Chris Kornman and myself cupped these separately, compared notes, and found ourselves in agreement.
Our standard hot and fast profile produced a tart cup, with notes of blueberry, almond paste, and dark chocolate, and a spiced finish similar to curry. I liked this roast but wished there was a little more complexity. On the other hand, our third, cooler and longer roast cracked quite late, and produced notes of blackberry, cherry candy, raspberry jam, and raisin. It was very sweet but lacked subtlety.
Our second roast with a longer Maillard phase produced a cup with notes of blueberry, plum, ripe grape, and cranberry cocktail, as well as floral notes of hibiscus and chamomile. It was sweet and syrupy as well, like jam. This was our favorite: a gentle but expressive flavor profile, with floral notes not present in the other roasts. I imagine that the sugars simply need a little more time to caramelize to reach their full potential. I’d recommend trying a roast in this style.
You can download the profile to your Ikawa Pro app here:
Roast 1: Crown Standard SR 1.0
Roast 2: Crown Maillard +30 SR 1.0
Roast 3: Crown 7m SR LowAF 2
Brew Analysis by Elise Becker
This is a spectacular natural processed coffee, and I was ecstatic to be brewing it this week alongside the other Burundi we’re releasing as a Crown Jewel this week! As this coffee is headed to our pour-over bar at The Crown this weekend, I set myself up with a Hario V60 and the Fellow Stagg Brewer to start working on a dial for service.
The V60 brew produced an extremely clean cup, with a great deal of fun fruit acidity. Green grape, green apple, cascara, and juicy tropical fruit made their way to the front of the palate while brown sugar and a pleasant black tea note backed them up. The coffee I brewed with the Stagg had a lot of nuance, featuring a more viscous, syrupy body with no less fruit. Lime, red grape, and that same coating black tea came through, this time balanced out with a delicious dark chocolate finish. Overall, my personal preference skewed toward the acidity present in the V60, however the sweetness and balance of the Stagg brew had me taking extra sips as well.