A herbaceous aroma with flavors of burned caramel and bittersweet cocoa at the core, and sweet herbal notes offering contrast. Big bodied cup. City+ to Full City+.
Zambia is not a coffee growing country we see many samples from. There is plenty of coffee being exported from the region, but their coffee-growing history is much younger than those that surround them. The first coffee was planted in Zambia in the 1950s, however, it wasn't until the last few decades that it became a major contributor to Zambia's agri-business sector. "Kasama Estates" is actually a blend of the coffees from two different estates in Kasama town, Northern Province. Estates and "plantations" make up the bulk of coffees that are exported from Zambia, and there are about 2500 hectares of land between these two, with nearly 800 planted in coffee. Altitude ranges from 1300 to 1500 meters above sea level. This lot is a AAA, which refers to the largest screen size, 16+ microns in this case. Screen size does not necessarily differentiate quality (as we see with AA, and AB lots in Kenya), but the bean size is quite uniform, and so even roasting tends to be more easily achieved.
The dry fragrance has green herbal hints, and hazelnut-like nutty sweetness. A unique set of scents, and with sweetness that builds after adding hot water. Pumpkin pie filling (brown sugar and cooked pumpkin to put a fine point on it), burned caramel, and a note of fresh cedar, this is not a 'conventional' smelling coffee to say the least. The cup follows suit, with an array of fresh herbal tones dotting a thick base sweetness of molasses and brown sugars. I find the green herbal aspect appealing in this context, adding contrast to this coffee's core bittersweetness. It's a big bodied coffee, and at City+ roast level (which is a great starting point roast-wise) you're hit with bittersweet cocoa and herbal accent notes, flavors that are are carried long into the finish. While I prefer City+/FC level, this coffee can definitely handle roast as well, and is a good option for those who enjoy taking their roasts into 2nd cracks/Full City+ territory.