That was the first real winter we've had in New York City in a while, but I'm still glad to put the days of snow and winter jackets behind us. I've been engaged in a bit of apartment-organizing, having finally bit the bullet and paid for some storage space. There is some stuff we didn't want underfoot but I couldn't bring myself to throw it out. Some old computer equipment, some books, the comic collection from my misspent youth in the 1970s, my complete collection of Spy, furniture that we might put in a big summer house if we ever buy a big summer house. I fueled the weekslong effort with cups and shots of this coffee from Stumptown. Coffee Burundi Bwayi

Roasted Feb. 18 by Stumptown Coffee.

Purchased: Feb. 24 at Stumptown in the Ace Hotel at 18 West 29th Street and Broadway, Manhattan.

Description "Violet and raisin aromatics open the flavor gates to perfectly clean notes of plum, black cherry and orange zest that are complimented by a syrupy body."

In the Cup I wanted to like this coffee more, because beans from Burundi in East Africa are apparently a rarity.

This direct-trade coffee from the Kayanza province did not really work for me as an espresso, perhaps because the fruit notes were simply too intense when it was prepared that way. I'm not a big fan of bright and shiny fruit flavors in coffee.

This was much better as Americano, smooth and pleasant, easy to drink without milk.

Stumptown says: "Bwayi is one of the pearls in our East African Direct Trade program. We’ve been working closely with this group of farmers over the past three years. In addition to improved cherry selection and a return to double fermentation, a la the Kenyan style, we’ve now installed a pre-drying stage to the Bwayi process. This addition has given the coffee’s mouth feel pronounced depth. Our quality control team cupped through each day of the harvest to construct this lot of coffee."

The Drinks With Nathan blog has some more interesting detail about the coffee growing scene in Burundi. A poor economy has made the country late to the specialty coffee game, but the farmers have benefited from a Stumptown-supported program that supplies bikes to them and growers in neighboring Rwanda. Thumpology also points to some resources about Burundi coffees.

AuthorPatrick LaForge