A butterfly flaps its wings in New Mexico and China is ravaged by a hurricane. If chaos theory troubles the leading minds in physics and mathematics we didn't really stand a chance, right?
Three months ago we received a message from our green-bean supplier informing us that due to a variety of natural phenomena, the Rwandan component of our flagship filter-coffee blend, Vengeance, would no longer be available. Indeed, notifications of this kind are unfortunate realities of the trade of a product so sensitive to climate and weather changes. Well, to improve is to change and to perfect is to change often. Let the chaos ensue.
Rwanda Abangurushwa originally made up 1/3 of Vengeance, along with 1/3 Guatemala Acatenango and 1/3 Ethiopia Sidamo. Replacing with Rwanda with a Burundi made geographical sense in terms of staying true to an Eastern Rift/Great Lakes component.
The new Burundian bean comes from a co-operative farm providing equal parts Kivubo and Condi. The coffee presented as wonderfully bright with a juicy, lingering body when cupping as a single origin, features we were desperate to retain when blending into Vengeance. However, a straight swap to a 1/3 component in the blend did not do the new origin justice. Following several days of intensive cupping and blending, we settled on a 55% share of Vengeance for Burundi Kivubo/Condi. At this percentage the coffee was able to shine through the blend, enhancing the typical brightness of Ethiopia and depth of the Guatemala. By replacing the delicate nature of the original Rwandan component with this new Burundian origin, Vengeance now has a fuller, sweeter body, creating a more drinkable product perfect for filter coffee. Change often, right?
Here is a simple recipe for a french press/cafetiere/plunger.
Add 16g of coffee to your plunger. Meanwhile, boil at least 250ml of water in your kettle. Allow the kettle to stand for 3 minutes so the water temperature drops naturally to around 80 degrees Celsius. Pre-heat your cups by filling them with hot water, but remember you need 250ml for your coffee. After 3 minutes add 50ml of water to your coffee in the french press, making sure all the grounds are immersed. Leave for 30 seconds to let the coffee bloom and then add the rest of the water, topping up to 250ml in total. Allow 4 minutes of total steeping and then serve immediately. It is important to pour all the coffee after 4 minutes because coming back for a top-up from your french press will let the remaining coffee over-extract with the grounds below the press. If you want to make more at once, keep the ratio of 16g coffee to 250ml water in mind.
Can you taste the depth, the brightness, the sweetness? We can. And so, a Burundian butterfly wafts its wings and a vengeful hurricane hits your palate.