Medium roasts show balanced sweet/bittering flavors, elements of buckwheat pancakes with maple syrup, bittering powdered cocoa, licorice hint and an aromatic woody aroma. City+ to Full City. Good for espresso.
|Region||Mbeya town, Mbeya District|
|Processing||Wet Process (Washed)|
|Drying Method||Raised Bed Sun-Dried|
|Arrival date||June 2019 Arrival|
|Bag size||60 KG|
|Appearance||.6 d/300gr, 16-18 Screen|
|Roast Recommendations||City+ to Full City|
|Recommended for Espresso||Yes|
Isende is a Farmer Business Group, essentially a cooperative effort by smallholder coffee farmers to pool resources, processing and marketing of their crop. In places like Tanzania, a buyer like us can't work with a small farmer directly since they might produce only 1 or 3 bags of coffee. You can't dry mill lots so small except by hand, you can't density-sort a single bag effectively. And the work on documentation and export would be ridiculous, especially in Tanzania where the bureaucracy for coffee exportation is a huge burden for large lot exports. But when small farmers organize into an FBG, neighbors can combine lots, can pulp and dry coffees together, and the coffee can be exported with greater ease. Isende is located in Mbeya's rural district, not too far from Mbeya town as the crow flies, but a good long drive on winding dirt roads. This 52-member cooperative was initially assisted by a global aid organization to form in 2007, but has since become self-sustaining since that NGO pulled out of the country. The Isende farmer group owns and operates their own Central Processing Unit ("CPU") which consists of a mechanical pulper, soaking tanks, and drying beds. The CPU sits at about 1800 meters and coffee grows as high as 2000. Because of the altitude and micro region, they get a bit of fog, which tends to slow the drying process a bit, but nowhere near causing concern. The varieties planted are Kents, Mbozi Mission and Moshi type, all variations of Bourbon coffee.
The fragrance has a smell of caramelizing sugars and toasted grain, familiar for this region. The wet aroma is very sweet, still some of the roasted grain smells when roasted light, but much more of a maple sweetness at City+ and Full City. And that's what I find in the cup too, a sweetness that has a strong maple-like flavor, that with a honey wheat note, culminates in flavors like buckwheat pancakes with syrup. I prefer Isende in the middle roast range and found that it produces the most balance between sweetness and bittering roast tone. Full City brews up an inky bodied cup, with bittering powdered cocoa flavor, licorice hint and an aromatic woody aroma. Isende makes a knockout single origin espresso for those looking for lasting bittersweetness that stands up to steamed milk.