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Tea-like characteristics flourish in the brew, Oolong and black teas, along with baking spice and a juicy lemon note. Acidity is brilliant, like citrus and the tannic side of black tea, and Nemba's finish is quite clean. City to Full City.
|Processing||Wet Process (Washed)|
|Drying Method||Raised Bed Sun Dried|
|Arrival date||February 2018 Arrival|
|Appearance||.2 d/300gr, 16-18 Screen|
|Roast Recommendations||City to Full City|
Nemba Station is a coffee cherry collection and processing site located in Kayanza, Burundi's northern province that borders neighboring Rwanda. Farmers from surrounding "collines", or hill tops, deliver their harvest in whole cherry at the Nemba site, where it is then wet processed and then dried. Kayanza Province itself sits at 1800 meters above sea level, and the farms from the 15 hill tops that serve the Nemba Station top out at over 2000 meters. 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. Nemba has been around since the early 1990s, and this year placed top 10 at the Burundi Cup of Excellence competition, no small task. Nemba 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.
The dry fragrance of City roasts has a scent of vanilla creme sandwich cookies, sweet white icing with vanilla accents, as well as a caramel corn hint. Full City is much more pungent and bittersweet as you might expect, but it still retains some of the caremel-y sweetness smelled in my lighter roast, showing promise as a darker roast option. A clove spice note comes up in the wet aroma, and breaking through the wetted crust also gives off a hazelnut smell that reminds me of a hazelnut coffee syrup like Torani. Light roasts have a lot of tea-like characteristics in the brewed coffee, not unlike most of the other Burundi's that we have right now. This, along with aspects of baking spices, is what causes these Burundi coffees to stand out amongst many other East African coffees (though finding parity with Rwandan coffee), and lends to a brisk cleanliness found in Nemba's finish. The raw sugar sweetness is a bit nondescript, though it persists as the cup cools down in temperature. Tea notes like Oolong and black tea are discernible in City roasts, along with a tangy, and complimentary lemon note. The acidic impressions are like citrus, and mouthfeel is on the tannic side in the finish. The sweetness holds up at Full City too, but bittering roast tones do much to counter this aspect. Not all is obfuscated by roast though, and the brewed coffee has flavors of high % dark chocolate with roasted cacao nibs.