Businde Natural Espresso
Burundi, often called the Heart of Africa because of its heart-shaped border as well as its location, has some of the continent’s most favourable conditions for growing specialty coffee. Despite its diminutive size, the country boasts nearly a million coffee farmers, making coffee one of its largest industries. Farmers here grow an average of less than one hectare of coffee per household, typically alongside subsistence crops such as maize and sorghum. With an economy which ranks among the worst in the world, coffee makes up a crucial part of local finance.
Matraco, the export organization which runs the Businde washing station, has established collection centres among the hills of the Twa people which sits alongside the Kinyangona river. The Twa are the least populated of the ethnic groups in Burundi and Rwanda, with less than 1% of the population, and have been at the bottom of the social caste system for hundreds of years. The story of the Twa is often omitted in discussions of the ethnic conflicts of the region, but it is estimated that over 30% were killed in the 1994 Rwandan genocide alone.
The additional premiums from the sale of high-quality coffee form an integral part of the economy for the Twa people, who work at the washing station as well as process their crops there. Despite the area’s history of conflict, coffees from this region are some of the highest scoring in the world, with meticulous processing which rivals their larger rivals in Tanzania and Kenya. This particular lot was processed in the natural style, a rarity in Burundi, which imparts additional tropical fruit notes and a thick, syrupy sweetness.
For a double espresso, we like a recipe of 19 grams in, 40 grams out and shot times of 31-34 seconds. In milk, expect notes of blueberry cheesecake.
For filter, we have been brewing this coffee as a pour over on a Hario V60 brewer at a recipe of 24 grams of medium-fine ground coffee to 400ml of hot filtered water, just off boil. We start with a 60ml bloom, allowing the coffee to expand for 30 seconds before pouring the rest of the volume in slow circles. After we finish pouring, we give the slurry a few stirs before allowing it to draw down, for a total brew time of approximately 3 minutes.