Burundi is a small country packed next to the northwest corner of Tanzania and bordering Rwanda to its north. I have very limited experience with coffee from Burundi and this is my first review of one on KCcoffeegeek.com. So, it’s exciting to be trying this Burundi Mpanga from Binghamton, NY’s Laveggio Roasteria.
Burundi grows mainly bourbon varietals at an altitude of 1700-2000masl, so their coffees are known for lots of body and sweetness. Coffee is the country’s main export and so the growers and government have a vested interest in producing quality lots for the specialty market. 1
Laveggio Roasteria has been serving coffee and espresso in downtown Binghamton, NY since 2002 and roasting coffee since 2007. When they asked me to review some of their coffees I was excited to try something from a new-to-me roaster I’d never heard of! It looks like they have a nice location there in upstate New York! As luck would have it, they don’t seem to be currently offering this Mpanga from Burundi, but owner Coe Young’s blog shows that they will get it in a couple times per year and this is a coffee they are impressed with, so you’ll see if from Laveggio again. Coe gives tasting notes of “creamy body, sparkling acidity, key lime” for this coffee.
UPDATE (11/5/15): Laveggio Roasteria will have this coffee back in stock within the next couple weeks.
I found this to be an interesting coffee to brew as I kept getting short brew times at the same grind setting I use 99% of the time with other coffees. I had to dial my grinder back two notches to get it in range, so mechanically speaking it stood out. In terms of flavor, this is a tasty, easy drinker. There is a lot of sweetness in the cup and good body to this coffee. The finish is dry and has an aftertaste of a bit of burnt sugar but also light citrus.
I didn’t find as much acidity in this cup as the tasting notes from Laveggio imply, but I still really enjoyed this coffee. There is a soft lime high note that complements the sweetness well. Holding the sip in my mouth for a few seconds before swallowing revealed a nice spiciness… maybe a hint of black pepper but more flavors I would associate with baking sweets. There is a hint of roast in this coffee, too, but that also gives a bit of body and some sweetness, so it works well with this coffee. Coffee is a roasted product and there is always some degree of roastiness in the cup. The key is to make it play well with the other flavors and Laveggio’s Mpanga does this very well.
This is a good start from my pals in New York!