The last of a fantastic run of coffees from San Diego’s Manzanita Roasting Co. is their Burundi from Nemba Washing Station. I’m excited to try this one out and also compare it to the Radio Roasters Burundi I recently reviewed, which was from the same region. Let’s check it out!
MANZANITA ROASTING CO. BURUNDI NEMBA WASHING STATION
Manzanita Roasting Co. was formed by Weston and Samantha Nawrocki. Weston is a trained chef and sommelier while Samantha’s family has run the San Bernardo Winery for over 100 years! Today’s coffee is a lot from the Kayanza region of Burundi, close to the northern border the country shares with Rwanda. As much of the coffee from Burundi is, this is a Bourbon variety and it is washed at Nemba Washing Station. Coffees grow around 1800masl here. Manzanita gives us tasting notes of, “cherry, apple, almonds, and fairly rich. Reminds us of a Kenya/Guatemala blend…”
I used my standard pourover setup of a 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water in a notNeutral Gino dripper. My Handground grinder was set to 3 and I used Third Wave Water in my preparation of this coffee. This resulted in a medium bodied coffee that is sweet and bright right out of the gate. My initial sips have this heavy sweetness that spreads across my tongue while an acidity consisting of green apple notes and lemon candy hits the roof of my mouth and back of throat. There may be a little lemon-lime in the acidity in this cup for me, too, because in the aftertaste there is a slightly bitter quality left behind the acidity on the top of my palate and I often associate that more with lime than lemon or other bright notes. This interplay between acidity and sweetness creates a nice, as well as interesting, balance. Often times, a “balanced coffee” for me is one that is both bright and sweet, but also has a lot going on in between the ends of that range. In this case, the visual picture that jumps into my head is one of a teeter totter with brightness/acidity sitting on one end and a sugary sweetness sitting on the other end. They’re in balance with one another, but there’s a large empty space (and I don’t mean that in a bad way, because this is a delicious coffee packed with flavor!) in between. I always wonder if my visual flavor descriptors make sense to anyone except me! LOL
There’s a nice finish and aftertaste to this cup that has a lot of baked goods sweetness in it for me with hints of holiday spices like ginger and nutmeg. This is a really good coffee. I loved Radio Roasters’ Kayanza, too, but where that one was more floral and bright this one has that same type of acidity but with a bigger bottom end to really anchor this coffee and give it some weight on the palate. Weston always does a great job on his Loring roaster and this is another one of many Manzanita coffees that hits the mark for me with excellent character, sweetness, acidity, it’s clean and clear, etc. Excellent job, again!