We had our first Congo in quite some time at the end of 2013, and it turned out to be a pretty nice lot. This coffee is from the same cooperative, Soprocopiv, located in the Lake Kivu area. It's a fairly strong coop, with more than 4000 farmers stretching from north to south along the lake (we call it Bukavu-Beni because those are the main towns where these farmers reside). It's all Bourbon in the area, and is grown between 1500 to 1800 meters. Congo's recent history has seen quite a bit of civil unrest, so we hope that this coffee represents a greater stability to come to the area. This is still an early attempt at offering Congo coffee again, and there is more development needed in terms of improving the milling and processing of the coffee. It has a much more rustic cup character than it should, given that it should be similar to the Rwanda coffees from the other side of the Lake Kivu. It has flavors more like a wet-hulled Sumatra coffee, but is still very compelling with convincing sweetness and fruit. This is a special preparation, triple-picked coffee.
The dry grounds have dark fruit, plum and fig, and with a near smokey chipotle note too - savory sweet. Add water and the rustic aspects come to fore, with wet earth and molasses mixing nicely, along with dried banana and a toasted grain smell. The cup is brighter than a Sumatra but has much in common with a Lintong coffee. Like the last lot of Congo we received, this one has healthy doses of fresh tobacco, unrefined sugars, and even a slight 'jute' bag flavor. I say this in the best of light, as it truly is a sweet coffee, albeit rustic and with a counterbalance of bittersweet aspects. As it cools some dark fruit and banana come out as well as pungent tropicals like papaya and durian. The earthiness remains on into the finish, and with a low acidity and thick body, this one will definitely appeal to fans of Indonesia coffees. Definitely an interesting profile from a part of Africa lacking representation in the coffee world.
|Processing||Wet Process (Washed)|
|Arrival date||June 2014 Arrival|
|Appearance||.8 d per 300g/ 15+ Screen|
|Intensity/Prime attribute||Bold Intensity / Fruited, rustic/earthy sweetness, bodied|
|Region||Kivu, Eastern Congo|
|Roast||City+ to Full City+ is ideal, bringing out the darker sweet sugar complexity and taming some of the wild aspects of the cup|
|Recommended for Espresso||No|