Tasting Notes: Pomegranate, Strawberry, & Kit Kat Region: Kirundo Farm: Butch India Washing Station Varietal: Red Bourbon. Elevation: 1500-1800m. Process: Washed & Swiss Water Decaffeination. Importer: Swiss Water Processing
Notes from Lee at Quietly:
THE LOVE OF COFFEE:
Few things irk me more than the "death before decaf" motto. I fell in love with coffee for its flavour, uniqueness, and rituals. Caffeine is just a magical bonus on those especially tired mornings. Meaning I will forever advocate for well-processed and well-roasted decaf because it is every bit as delicious as its caffeinated counterparts. My motto: great coffee is great coffee.
For sourcing, we are currently working direct with Swiss Water in Vancouver. Their process excels at maintaining the unique elements of origin while removing caffeine. It start with a 'Green Coffee Extract (GCE)' in one tank and fresh crop beans in another. Seeking equilibrium, caffeine compounds migrate across a series of carbon filters, which trap it for removal. The GCE is refreshed and ready for re-use. By leveraging temperature and time with precession, the end result is 99.9% caffeine-free.
ORIGIN: In 2012, Angèle Ciza decided to go into the coffee business with a friend. Together they purchased a number of washing stations, hoping to work in closer partnership with growers as a means to begin processing some of the best coffees in the country. Today it’s clear that Ciza (now the sole proprietor) has succeed in her goal, and her company, Kalico (short for Kahawa Link Company), is synonymous with specialty coffee in Burundi. With a heavy emphasis on education and outreach on topics such as plant nurseries to picking, the quality of the coffees produced with Kalico’s partnership has improved—along with the prices paid to farmers. Ciza has continued to invest in training, environmental protection, micro-finance, and other social infrastructures such as a scholarship program to pay for school fees for young girls. This lot comes from the Butihinda Washing Station, which uses water sourced from Rushombo Mountain and manages processing for approximately 1400 smallholder producers.
FLAVOUR: Decaf gets a bad rap because historically it was never well-grown green and typically is roasted too hot and too fast. However, if you start with great coffee and roast it with the decaf processing in mind, you experience the unique joy of origin. Swiss water's sourcing and processing is really allowing all those unique flavours of Burundi to shine and for the Butihinda station that means loads of brown sugar, milk chocolate, sweet wafer, pomegranate, black tea, and strawberry notes. It is an absolute stunner.