Gahahe is "complete" in terms of the levels of sweetness, cleanliness and vibrance. Raw sugar, apple-like acidity, top notes of cranberry and baking spice. City to Full City. Good for espresso.
|Region||Gatara Commune, Kayanza Province|
|Drying Method||Raised Bed Sun-Dried|
|Arrival date||January 2019 Arrival|
|Bag size||60 KG|
|Appearance||.4 d/300gr, 16-18 Screen|
|Roast Recommendations||City to Full City|
|Recommended for Espresso||Yes|
Gahahe Station is a coffee cherry collection site located in Gatara Commune within Kayanza, Burundi's northern province that borders neighboring Rwanda. Farmers grow mostly older bourbon types, the original coffee cultivar introduced to the area in the 1930s by Catholic monks traveling from the island of Reunion. Gahehe sits at just over 1800 meters above sea level, and is a collection site for roughly 600 local farmers who are also station members. As members, they are organized into small groups who receive training in best agricultural practices, seedlings to continue to help increase coffee production, and benefit from access to the global specialty coffee market. Gahahe was built in the mid 1980s, a time when the World Bank was investing heavily in Burundi's coffee sector, building out washing stations like this one to serve the surrounding coffee communities, outfitted with a eco-pulping Penagos for processing coffee cherry. More recently they've come under the direction of a Burundi coffee investment group who are able to offer this coffee, as well as a few others we've purchased (Yandaro, and Kibingo to name a couple), agronomical assistance to station members, regular maintenance of washing station equipment and drying beds, and management teams who follow the coffee deliveries from cherry selection, to keeping lots separated by quality tiers. Since partnering with this group, several of the stations have seen top placement in Burundi coffee competitions, including Gahahe placing 4th in the 2015 Burundi CoE, and 7th the year prior. This is a honey process lot where the depulped coffee bypasses the fermentation stage of wet processing, heading straight for the drying beds where the coffee dries with fruit still intact. This can produce a more fruited, milder acid cup. However, Gahahe displays impressive acidity - not just for honey process coffee - and fruit character is much more in the background.
Grinding the coffee lets off a nice corn syrup sweet smell marked by subtle baking spice notes. This translates to smells that remind me of ginger snap cookies in the wet aroma, a dense sweetness that shows subtle fruited allusions when breaking through the crust. Assessing Gahahe through the lens of light roasting (City/City+ roast), this is where fruited flavors have the most presence. I wouldn't call this coffee "fruity" though. It has the sweet, clean cup character of wet process Burundi coffees and impressive acidity for Burundi (not to mention for honey process!). It isn't until the coffee cools down some that fruited notes accent the middle and finish, cranberry and berry skins come to mind. City+ roasts are delicious brewed and "complete" in terms of the levels of raw sugar sweetness, cleanliness and vibrance. A cream caramel sweetness is cut through by fruited, apple-like acidity, and baking spice notes highlight the finish. I roasted one batch to Full City+ which I found to be pretty bittering but the sweetness holds up. Acidity, on the other hand, does not. Full City is about as dark as I'd take Gahahe, and you'll find these medium roasts produce lush espresso shots, where fruited chocolate flavors flourish.