First, a big thank-you to Oren Bloostein. I met Oren at the CoffeeCON event in Warrenville, IL earlier this month. I bought a couple of his coffees and, when we was packing up at the end of the daily, he kindly gave me some extra bags.
Oren has been roasting and selling coffee in New York for decades now, and is hugely respected in the specialty coffee industry.
And if you look at the lower left side of the label in the photo above, you’ll see that he is one of the very few roasters who actually adds the date of roasting to the bag.
Why bother? Because if you really, really care about the taste of your coffee, you should be grinding, brewing and drinking it within 3 to 4 weeks of roasting. Not many roasters do this,
But to be fair to other roasters, it’s worth pointing out that many supermarket chains actually forbid this kind of dating stamp on coffee bags. The supermarkets want people to buy the coffee, even if it is still on the shelf months after roasting.
This is one reason why serious coffee drinkers like to buy their coffees direct from the roaster, and not from a supermarket.
I have two coffees from Oren to taste, and the first is this bean from Burundi. And no, you don’t often see coffees from Burundi.
If your knowledge of African geography is failing you, Burundi is a very small, landlocked country immediately south of Rwanda.
OK, now for the coffee.
We ground the beans immediately after opening the bag, and brewed them in a Chemex brewer. We often brew in our press pot, but used a Chemex on this occasion because we know this is how Oren brews his own coffees.
Once brewed, we let the coffee sit for a few minutes. It’s hard tasting coffee when it’s piping hot. Best to let it cool for a couple of minutes.
And now for the moment of truth. At least, it is for us when we brew a special coffee and take our first sniff and taste.
This coffee has a subtle floral aroma. It’s like walking past a coffee shop and a flower shop within a few strides, and savoring a blend of both aromas.
As for the taste, it is very distinctive. My girlfriend (who, in truth, is the better taster) and I both agreed this was a very special and unusual coffee.
You get the acidity you expect and want in a coffee, but it doesn’t hit you with a jolt. It is very even across your whole mouth, from the first taste through to the aftertaste.
Layered on the acidity is a definite sweetness with a touch of fruit. Not a sharp or strong sweetness…but more like the sweetness you get from a dried (not candied) fruit.
This blend of acidity and dry sweetness creates a full, deep body that clings to the mouth and lingers.
We have never tried a Burundi coffee before, but if these beans are any indication of quality, we’ll be drinking a lot more in the future.
Definitely a thumbs up from us.
If you want to try it yourself, you can get this same Burundi Kayanza Gatare from Oren’s Daily Roast.
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About the author: Nick Usborne, aka Coffee Detective, is a writer and long-time coffee enthusiast. Read more…