Burundi Gakenke CoE Lot #10

January 2015

A coating mouthfeel with a very extended, sweet finish sets this coffee apart from others. Add to this a complex acidity with clean mulberry flavours and you have a coffee with enough distinction to greatly impress a professional Scotch taster like Sean Baxter. Sean has spent much time studying and learning the taste profiles and blending techniques of high end Scotch with Johnnie Walker. We were intrigued to see if there was any crossover between our chosen fields. This Burundi Cup of Excellence coffee finalist helped Sean learn just how similar our two industries could be.

Burundi is in its adolescent stage of becoming a Specialty Coffee powerhouse like its neighbours Kenya and Rwanda. Extreme poverty and lack of attention by world aid organizations have had serious consequences for this tiny state in Central Eastern Africa. The atrocities in Rwanda of the mid to late 90’s overshadowed very similar conflicts between warring Hutus and Tutsis in neighbouring Burundi. This civil war persisted until the founding of a new constitution in 2004 and the country was left ravaged. Unlike Rwanda, Burundi has not received nearly as much attention from world aid programs and they have had to rebuild with much less. This leaves them at the bottom of the list for GDP per capita – often in the bottom 2 or 3. For perspective, countries with higher GDP per capita include Liberia (5th), Mozambique (7th) and Rwanda (16th).

Quality last year was not so high, and we could not showcase Burundi as a Coffee of the Month. This was disappointing, as our goal in the past has been to help shine a light on a coffee and a country in serious need of any spotlight. Thankfully, this last season has shown vast improvements in coffee quality and we are pleased to return Burundi back to our Coffee of the Month showcase with this winning coffee.

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Our Guest Taster:

Sean Baxter

Sean Baxter

National Whisky Ambassador - Diageo

Sean is the eldest of four children, born and raised on a cattle farm in Kilkivan, Queensland. Sean has always had an interest in good food and good drink – with his passion for cooking leading him to the top 24 in Masterchef Australia in 2014.
Currently the National Whisky Ambassador for Diageo with a huge 13 years experience under his belt; Sean works with some of the most prestigious spirit brands in the world – he has what some would describe as a ‘refined palette’. With a Bachelor’s in journalism and communication, this one-time stand up comic attributes his passion for the industry to training others to appreciate different flavours and allowing them to add luxury and pleasure to their own lives.

The Coffee

Country Of Origin Burundi
Region Gatara, Kayanza
Elevation 1680
Varietal Bourbon
Processing Fully Washed
Certifications Cup of Excellence Lot #10
Wet Aroma Cacao, dark caramel, roasted malt, oolong, sweet tobacco

The Cup

Acidity complex tartaric, malic and citric
Body coating, silky, refined texture with a long extended finish, very well structured
Flavours Rich, nut praline, burnt caramel, smokey oolong, crème caramel, orange and mulberry
Mouthfeel coating, silky, refined texture with a long extended finish, very well structured