Kibingo is most "showy" in light roasts, notes of mandarin orange and honey tangerine, cherry juice, cascara tea, raw sugars like turbinado and panela, and aromatic chamomile and blackberry leaf tea notes. Exquisite pour over brew. City to City+.
Kibingo 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 18 hills that surround Kibingo. 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. Kibingo sits at just under 1900 meters above sea level, and many of the farmers have coffee planted much higher than this. Kibingo is named after reeds that are growing in the river running alongside the station site, planted in order to help keep the soil at the banks from eroding. They've been around since the mid 1980s, and this year Kibingo took 1st place at the Burundi Cup of Excellence competition, no small task. Kibingo 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.
Glimpses of floral tea notes and sweet baking spices are sensed when grinding up light roasts of Kibingo, a cup complexity alluded to early on. Fruited accents come through with a shade more roast development, my City+ roast concocting allusions to elderberry tea and orange essence, with clean, raw sugar sweetness. The wet aromatics smell delicious at both City and City+ roast levels, the sweetness spanning a range from raw honey to raw natural sugars like sucanat, and breaking through the crust you're hit with a heady sweetness of maple icing and brown sugar candies. Kibingo brews up fantastic, pour overs of our lightest roast showing aromatic tea notes like chamomile and blackberry leaf, giving way to deep raw sugar flavors, like turbinado, and panela. An orange aspect rings through too in terms of both flavor and acidity, mandarin orange and honey tangerine notes, along with a lemon-like brilliance that livens up the cup. Flavors in the finish include tart berry, caramelizing sugars, whole all spice, and tannic black tea. City+ roasts also proffer bright citrus and layered sweetness, as well as red fruit accents like cherry juice, and cascara tea. I recommend staying in the City to City+ roast range, not taking roast development too far beyond the end of first snaps. These roasts will make the most complex cups, offering the most "showy", competition-level brew.