Strawberry Milkshake – Natural Process from Kibingo in Kayanza Province, Burundi (2023)
Producers: smallholder farmers organized around the Kibingo washing station
Place: Kayanza Province, Burundi
Variety: Red Bourbon
Processing: Inoculated with a cultivated yeast strain (CIMA) before being dried on raised beds as a Natural
Harvest: June 2022
Tasting notes: strawberry, chocolate covered cherry, malt milkshake
With ripe strawberry, cherry, cacao, and malted milkshake vibes, this Bourbon cultivar was grown and harvested in June 2022, by smallholder farmers who deliver ripe coffee fruit to the Kibingo washing station in Kayanza Province, Burundi. With fruit intact, the purple orbs were inoculated with a cultivated yeast strain (CIMA) and dried on raised beds as a Natural for 6-8 weeks, allow the yeast time to transform them.
Kibingo washing station represents 3,515 producers, all smallholders who own an average of 300 coffee trees each, effectively garden cultivating.
The station itself sits 1,893 meters above sea level. The altitude of the farms in the neighbouring hills that supply the washing station varies from 1,700 to 1,900 meters above sea level, spread over 18 hills in the area.
Kibingo washing station is equipped with 10 fermentation tanks, 2 soaking tanks and a drying field with 165 drying tables and 4 pre-drying tables.
Greenco supports Kibingo as well as other collectives (like Nemba) with loads of organization assistance, training, organic fertilizers/ compost, as well as things like logistics and export.
Greenco has been a talented, encouraging, support system for producers in Burundi, starting their work in 2015. They’ve got a serious track record too, dominating all Cup of Excellence competitions in Burundi ever since they began.
A Bourbon here is a Bourbon there… right? Nope. Here’s a bit on the winding history of this tasty fruit that is both a single variety and a family of varieties with descendants. If we’re going to unpack how Bourbon got to be one of the most beloved and prolific varieties, we’ll have to go back in time. In the early 1700s, the French tried to introduce this variety from Yemen to the Island of Bourbon (now called La Réunion) on three occasions. These attempts were confirmed via genetic studies and the first attempt wasn’t successful at all – only some plants from the 2nd and third attempts made it onto the island to grow and propagate. Bourbon stayed on that island for a while, until the 19th century.
Eventually, Bourbon would make its way back to Kenya and Tanzania before heading west to Brazil. From there, it spread north into Central America, and for the Bourbon that we source from the folks at Nemba in Burundi, the story continues from that point to Central America, and back again via DRC (Congo). A very long journey that we can’t help but wonder how it’s characteristics changed along the way.
We expand on this story a bit: here.
Processed using a commercial yeast strain called CIMA, the ripe cherries are inoculated with the yeast culture in a sealed bag for 36hrs to kick start the fermentation, after which the cherries are moved to raised beds to be dried as Naturals. This diligent process is carried out by the Kibingo washing station, representing the efforts of the 3000 farmers who deliver there, all growing Red Bourbon – providing flavours like strawberry, chocolate covered cherries & malt, this coffee is mildly lactic, clean, and satisfyingly sweet.
We brew all our coffees with municipal water that flows from our taps in Metro Vancouver. This municipal source is very soft, low ppm water (around 30 TDS)
There are many alternative water recipes out there that will produce tasty cups if your water from the tap isn’t giving you good results. A good place to start is 1/2 strength Third Wave Water of around 60-70ppm (0.16g.-0.2g./L of TWW powder).
We make an effort to taste our coffees in a variety of ways, but mostly use cupping, V60, and Kalita 155 brews as our main ways of quality control and dialling in roast profiles. Our filter recipes can be found in our Journal here:
Roasted with filter coffee in mind but this coffee has enough body and sweetness to double as tasty espresso
Kibingo’s Strawberry Milkshake makes shots that are syrupy sweet with tons of body and interesting cherry-chocolate fruit and complex almost boozy flavour like port wine. A great coffee for both straight espresso and filter coffee.
Starting spec: 18g:45g in 33 sec. on 9bar profile @93C