The level of sweetness ranks high (8.8!) - sugar in the raw, cream caramel, light brown sugar - with spiced flecks of cinnamon powder, hints of apple and pear and structuring acidity. City to Full City. Good for espresso.
|Region||Kayanza Province, Gatara Commune|
|Processing||Wet Process (Washed)|
|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|
Masha Station is a coffee cherry collection site located in Kayanza, Burundi's northern province that borders neighboring Rwanda. The washing station acts as a central delivery site for a few thousand small holder famers who occupy the hills surrounding Masha. The name comes from the Kirundi word "amasho" that means "herds of cattle", which makes sense seeing that cattle herding just might rival coffee farming in the Masha region! 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. Masha coffee washing station ("CWS") sits at just under 1700 meters above sea level, and many of the farmers have coffee planted much higher than this. They've been around since 1989, and in 2012 were top placement in Burundi Cup of Excellence competition, no small task. Masha roasts easily, very little roast color variance as you move from yellowing, to browning, and onto first crack. It helps that the sort is so good, with little to no trace of underripe coffee in the few hundred grams of coffee that we roasted.
This coffee from Masha has spiced sweetness in the dry fragrance, a mixture of baking spices and dark, raw sugars. City and City+ roasts smell very clean, and the wet aroma takes on characteristics of cinnamon-laced caramel. Masha is a clean tasting coffee too and an example of just how versatile Burundi coffees can be. They are a great alternative to clean and balanced Latin American coffees, offering rounded sweetness, mild top notes, and often structuring acidity like this lot from Masha does. The cup is sweet across a wide range of roasts, base flavors coming across like sugar in the raw, cream caramel, and light brown sugar. The level of sweetness ranks really high on our cupping spider graph (8.8!) and it's the one of the last characteristics I'm noting in the aftertaste. The coffee cools to spiced flecks of cinnamon powder up top, along with subtle hints of apple and pear at the lighter end of the roast spectrum, culminating in what reminds me of caramel apples. Full City roasting brings about roast tone as you'd expect, but is outweighed by sweetness, making for a silky semi-sweet chocolate flavor. Masha is well worth a run through your espresso machine if you're looking for a single origin espresso option that offers flavors of sweetened cocoa and spiced highlights.