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Tanzania Kilamanjaro Peaberry

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2013 Crop.  Tanzania is one of the least consistent-tasting coffees from year to year.  This year's crops have been particularly tart, and I like the sweet ones, so it has taken a lot of searching, but this one passes the test.  A Peaberry is a mutation — a flaw in the coffee gene causing two cherries to grow as one.  Some suggest it gives it twice the flavor.  Few coffee fans really consider it a “flaw” and many seek it out.  Indeed, in some countries they are rare.  In Tanzania, they are more the norm.   Peaberries are small and dense.  This bean likes high high heat, especially for the first half of the roast.  If you take it more than 15 minutes it tastes burnt regardless of temperature.  But a 15 minute roast without enough heat at the beginning makes it sour.  So it’s a tricky bean, but when you nail it, it’s all worth it!  Tip: If you have a hottop, let the hottop “start” its roast for 45-60 seconds before dropping the beans in. Whatever roaster you have, if you preheat the drum hotter than normal, you’re on the right track.  A good exit point for Tanzania is right around 400 degrees, well before the 2nd cracks begin.  This will give you the sweetest cup.  This is a coffee that I typically use in blending, to sweeten any other coffee.  While it is okay on its own, it tends to be somewhat boring, without any particular attribute that stands out as enjoyable.  However, it is a stellar blender, adding sweetness to Indonesians, Africans, or Central Americans, without masking the origin features of the other coffee bean.

This coffee is from the Lyamungu Estate, located on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro.  It is a high-altitude coffee, grown organically.  The estate and region both are among the highest repute in the country for growing coffee.   The estate grows more tea than coffee, and is owned by the Mufindi Tea Company, employing 3500 people and known for practicing social and environmental responsibility. 

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