The Lab

Coffee Analysis: Tanzania AA Northern Burka Estate (GP) RNY #43663

This coffee comes to us from the Arusha region of Tanzania. Arusha is one of the 5 growing regions within Northern Tanzania. The region borders Kenya to the North, and Kilimanjaro to the East. The Arusha has the highest number of craters and extinct volcanoes in Tanzania, leading to very nutrient-rich volcanic soil contributing to the high quality of the coffee grown here. The region also has a mild climate with warm days and cool nights. There are two rainy seasons. The “small rains” fall between November and December. The “big rains” fall between March and May. The Burka Estates is one of Tanzania’s oldest and largest specialty coffee producers. The company employs approximately 200 permanent staff with an additional 500 daily staff during the harvest season. Permanent staff and their families are provided with housing on the estates, medical services, and schooling for their children. The company pays at least 20% above the minimum wage. Burka Coffee Estates produces shade grown Arabica coffee using an eco-friendly and responsible approach to the environment and its neighboring communities.

Roasted on the Stronghold S7

We did three separate roasts of this coffee on the Stonghold S7. We executed consistent end temperatures on the roasts, in line with a medium roast. We used slightly higher than normal, but consistent charge temperatures, appropriate for the denser bean (.801 g/ml.) Lastly, the moisture content was pretty middle of the road (10.7%) so no adjustments were made to compensate.

·Longer Roast with 20% Development: Aromatics of ripe red fruits, cocoa, and apricot with flavors of cacao nib, baked pears, black pepper. This roast had pleasant mild acidity and a heavy body.

·Shorter Roast with 20% Development: Aromatics of cinnamon, anise, cocoa, peach cobbler, and honey suckle with flavors of coffee blossom, peach, black tea and white sugar. This roast had an increased sweetness present, medium body and sparkly, but slightly drying citrus acidity.

·Shorter Roast with 25% Development: Aromatics of honey, florals, marmalade and cherry. The fragrance was overall a little more subtle than the other two roasts. There were flavors of Peach Snapple, floral honey, a touch of candied lemon and honeydew melon with a lasting Lifesaver finish. This roast also had a pleasant mild citric and malic acidity and a smooth medium body.

Brewed with the notNeutral Gino Dripper

This coffee worked wonderfully with the notNeutral Gino Dripper. The dripper, which is quite similar to a Kalita, being a flat bottomed dripper with three holes. The difference being that the Gino Dripper has double-walling to encourage heat retention. This coffee would also work quite well as a classic batch brew or even espresso with it’s nice syrupy body and intense sweetness. To “dial in” this coffee we started out using a slightly tighter ratio than usual. We used 23g of coffee with 360ml of water, or a 1:15.7 ratio.

On the cupping table the body was one of the highlights of this coffee and the flavors were pretty subtle and far apart. We had hoped a slightly tighter ratio would highlight that silky body, while intensifying and pulling those flavors closer together.

We chose a medium-course grind setting (9 on an EK.) With any flat bottomed brew device there is an increase in restriction of the flow so a coarser grind setting is best. The final drip out time was around 3:30. The resulting beverage was honeyed, full of brown sugar and lemon. There also was a slight astringent parsnip aspect to the coffee, which indicated some under-extraction. The round body, TDSing at 1.3 was wonderful though. We wanted to keep the body of that brew and increase extraction, while pulling more fruit forward flavors out of the coffee, that we knew were available because of the fruit aromas when cupping this coffee.

To accomplish this we increased the bed depth, by using more coffee, while keeping the ratio tight, adjusting the water used to keep the 1:15.7 ratio, the taller bed-depth would result in more extraction due to the longer coffee/water contact time. This would however also increase the TDS, which was not something we were looking to do. The body and the intensity of the coffee were pretty ideal. So to compensate we coarsened up the grind a bit (9.5 on an EK.) The TDS did end up increasing a tad bit, as did the extraction. The coarser grind also allowed for a slightly more fruit forward brew, while removing any vegetable notes.

Measured using a Refractomer and the VST Coffeetools app

Our recipe was as follows:

·27g of coffee (5 days off roast) ground at 9.5 on an EK-43 (medium/course) with 203F filtered water

·30 second bloom with 60ml of water

·4 – 90ml pours with the final pour ending at 2:30 seconds and the final drip time being 3:15 seconds. This resulted in a 375ml beverage.

The final cup was very smooth and syrupy with a honeyed sweetness and notes of bergamot, coffee blossom and black tea.

The coffee is currently available for purchase here.

Zoey Thorson

Coffee Pro/Veteran Educator. Over 10+ years of teaching a wide variety of coffee disciplines to a diverse student base around the world. Q-Grader and SCA Authorized Specialty Trainer. In 2019 Zoey became the Director of Education for The Lab by Royal NY. Zoey is friendly, approachable and informative with a vast knowledge base...come take a class at The Lab and see for yourself.