Brian Beyke

Wood Burl Coffee Roasters - Burundi Civugiza

Brian Beyke

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This is an exciting offering to be sharing with you all, and I apologize that it arrives so late.  Wood Burl Coffee Roasters is a newer roasting endeavor that started just up the road from me in Dayton, Ohio.  Out from under Press Coffee Bar, Brett Barker along with his wife Janell made the switch from Dogwood and Neon to now running their Wood Burl branded coffees in their dapper shop at 257 Wayne Ave.  I had been to Press previously having a swell cup and almost purchasing a bag of Nekisse N2.  It was through social media and my desire to get an offering of Wood Burl’s to the table that we find the offering we are sharing with you today, the Burundi Civugiza, which is part of the Long Miles Coffee Project.  

This is the inagural crop of the Long Miles Washing Station that came from a dream of an American transplant family Ben, Kristy, Miles, and Neo Carlson.  The Carlson’s had a dream that they could facilitate direct and meaningful relationships between coffee roasters and coffee growers by producing great coffee and telling the story of the farmers who grow it.  If they could do that, then the local farming community would thrive and the world would gain the gift of Burundi coffee, which in my experience this year has been such a treat to experience.  I wish I could share all the ins and outs of Long Miles, but the truth is I can’t.  What I encourage you to do though is to follow their journey, and support it.  

From Dogwood Coffee Roasters,

Civugiza is the name of a hill and a small rural village in the little country of Burundi. We’ve bought Burundi coffee every season since Dogwood began, and we’ve seen it really improve in quality and focus each year. We’re happy to start working more directly in Burundi this year with our friends at the Long Miles Coffee Project. Last year, we donated $4 per retail bag sold of our Burundi coffee to help LMCP purchase some of the necessary equipment to build the first washing station. There were 132 small coffee farmers that delivered to the station to create this lot. Long Miles is committed to paying farmers early (something not common with many of the existing mills) as well as giving out bonuses for quality. Each producer has an average of 300 trees of mainly old stock Bourbon. LMCP is working on distribution of newer plants, as well as shade trees, in order to help boost production with newer growth.



Details:

Roaster: Wood Burl Coffee Roasters

Region: Civugiza, Muramvya, Burundi

Producers: 132 small producers

Process: Fully washed and sun dried

Varietal: Bourbon

Elevation: 1,900 - 2,100m

 

Brew Method:

Gino Dripper | 34g © to 552g (w) | 3:45 total time | 203 degrees | 1.40 TDS | 21.06% Ext.

Nose is a bit spiced, a bit floral, notes of fig or date as well.

Now I won’t lie, Brett warned me to watch for potato so I feel like I’m going to be trying to pull it out of each cup.  This cup, if it does possess any, is very minor.  Carries a bit of a nutty start, but also carries some clean and sweet fruit notes.  Not all that different than the start of other Burundi or Sulawesi offerings I’ve had previously.

Cooling a bit, you feel the cup a bit differently than the hottest moments.  The cup is clean and balanced, pretty subdued in fact, with more delicate pops of dried fruits like raisin, date, black cherry, to a lesser degree dried strawberry and banana, with pops of currant, pomegranate, and cranberry finally leading to a lightly syrupy and honey sweet finish.  The acidity is comfortable, but leans more toward the sharp end of things at it’s most noticeable moments, a bit lemon-like, a bit orange-like.

It’s a pretty smooth medium bodied cup with underlying citrus tones, sweet cream, and a slightly drying finish that I would call nutty but wouldn’t be surprised if someone more apt than me said it was potato.  Since it’s an element I’ve found in lots of other cups, it doesn’t really distract from the cup.

Getting into the later moments, the body stays nice and smooth, juicy, with clear, sweet, un-distracting fruit notes and a syrupy sweet, almost candy-like vanilla finishing with that orange acidity radiating lowly underneath all the other flavors.  I feel like I get hints of floral, but I’d be lying if I said I could really pull them out.

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Brew Method:

V60 no stir | 14g © to 227g (w) | 1:55 total time | 208 degrees | 1.45 TDS | 21.80% Ext.

Forgot my gooseneck kettle at home so just using a spouted kettle at work. A little too much agitation and also higher temperatures on today’s makes while I look into brew bed temperatures.

Juicy initial sips with some savory notes in the finish.  Dried fruits seem to stir around with a nice vanilla cream following.  A little more pronounced than the Gino - still with a bit of a spiced nut finish.

While this method makes me think I’m finding potato notes more, I also quickly start to notice the clean plum and date notes also starting to develop.  It does grow a bit more settled in than the initial sips would lead me to believe.  Soft, creamy, dried fruits delicately cover the palate in a comfortable medium body with clean acidity but low lying lingering notes of citrus beginning to emerge.

More concentrated notes of pomegranate, cranberry, prune, and raisin seem to arrive, creating a more dense sweetness than was previously discovered, finishing with notes of clove.  The body, while still smooth, splashes around some juicy bursts before ultimately finishing a bit more syrupy.  

As the cup cools, those notes stay pretty dense, but the intensity does lessen slightly.  It’s still a rather rich presentation of fruits, with a bit more tingly of an acidity growing underneath, still notes of vanilla and clove in the finish that seems to linger for a good while and ultimately meet some lemon, chocolate, and nutty finishings at the coolest moments.   

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Brew Method:

Chemex | 30g © to 480g (w) | 4:00 total time | 198 degrees | 1.37 TDS | 20.26% Ext.

Juicy and syrupy intro.  Really hard to detect anything on the front of this taste wise, it isn’t very good.  Maybe cranberry, a bit of dried fruits, and cream, but other than that it is.

It has a drying mouthfeel and overall, just isn’t my favorite.

The end, while still carrying this burnt nut taste to it, is crisp on the front, juicy, sweetening through the sips.  Smooth; perhaps pops if melon.  Guava, some sort of underlying lemon acidity.

Final sips are like thin strands of caramel and floral intertwining.  Notes of raisin, orange creamsicle, cantaloupe, and tobacco in the finish.  The end is actually really enjoyable, I wished I saved more of this to have.  It actually carried my favorite profile so far, and a really nice ending. Will try this again and see if I can get a cleaner make.

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Brew Method:

Chemex | 30g © to 480g (w) | 3:35 total time | 198 degrees | 1.35 TDS | 20.00% Ext.

Oh yea, this is a better cup.  Still a juicy intro that grows more syrupy, carries a sweet cream flavor throughout with orange-like acidity underneath.  Crisp, cranberry and lime spritz as well.  A little less delicate than previous makes, still well balanced and medium bodied.

Rather quickly into the cup both dried fruit and stone fruit notes begin to come out with drifts of floral notes in the finish.  Raisin, date, apricot, plum, currant sit lowly in the cup in the midst of a smooth and slightly buttery mouthfeel with a sugary sweet ending.  

It’s a very interesting cup for it’s mouthfeel.  When drinking, it is very smooth and easy to drink, yet full flavored in how it fills the entire mouth space, but still carrying softer notes so that it isn’t an overwhelming profile.  Grabbing a big gulp will feel softly coating around the mouth like honey, with subtle pops of fruits (mentioned before with the addition of cantaloupe), a relaxed citrus acidity underneath, and a marshmallow finish.  

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Brew Method:

Espresso | Crossland CC1 | Bottomless triple basket | 21g in | 42g out | 0:32 total time | 202 degrees (preferred method)

Bright tangerine jam, smooth, tapered exit that is really interesting.  Initial brightness isn’t very attacking, really helps showcase the gradual taper.

Grape, raisin, honey, dried lavender, dried apricot, tacky date sweetness.

Nice weightiness on the tongue, sharp concentrated orange soda as ending with a nice tobacco finish.

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Siphon | 30g © to 420g (w) | 1:10 pull heat - 3:00 total time  | 197 degrees | 1.52 TDS | 22.70% Ext. (Immersion mode)

Lightly fruited and honey aroma.

The cup starts clean, subtly rich, and smooth, with light fruit notes to an otherwise toasted nut finish.  Carries nods to cream in the aftertaste.

Sitting just just a short but the flavor all but busts through the seams.  The acidity is subtle in the method, with a nice and syrupy fig, date, raisin, plum, and grape sweetness, a bit splashy with melon pops and apricot, with a nice vanilla and lavender cream finish, silky and smooth.  Creamy in the mouthfeel, lingering sweetness.


Really enjoyable weight and smooth flavor.

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Brett had told me upon purchasing this coffee to watch out for the potato defect.  This, from my experience, was the first coffee that had instances of this, and it wasn’t in every make.  That being said, I had a desire to see what this coffee had to offer.

The highlight of this coffee is the big body but how it’s presented so softly.  It’s full in flavor, but subtle in how those notes are revealed.  Feel free to drink at any speed, you are sure to be satisfied with this cup, so long as the potato doesn’t arrive. However if it does, don’t think that will necessarily be indicative of the whole bag, it wasn’t with mine.

Also, as seen in the first chemex method, those potato and earthy notes aren’t really present in the coolest moments, so you could always save the cup til then anyways, I mean it is the best spot of the cup regardless.

While it wasn’t my favorite Burundi I’ve had this year, it was a really enjoyable coffee, nuanced in it’s own way, and the espresso was absolutely killer.

What I think is more important though, is what the Carlson’s are doing to improve Burundi coffee, and that goes beyond one year, one harvest, one roast, one bag.  This is something I am personally excited to support and continue watching, and I’m so excited to see what the coming years bring.  I first heard of this project seeing Kristy (kristyjcarlson) on Instagram and following along, then was Ben (longmilesben), and then came the project itself, (longmilescoffee).  If nothing else, follow along.  Read the stories.  Support the Carlson’s and support Burundi.  Also, Wood Burl is roasting some banging coffees.  If you are in the area, let’s swing up for a cup, say hey, and maybe pick up some beans for yourself.

Co-host of the I Brew My Own Coffee Podcast and always has all the chocolate. I also love to play board games. Yea, let's go do that right now.