Ever the skeptic, and no stranger to overly-theatrical eye-rolling, I'd be lying if i didn't admit I had to suppress a guffaw when I heard where Butterworth & Son's new single origin was landing from.
There has been much excited tittering amongst the specialty coffee community for a few years now about a potential revival of D.R.C. Bourbon varietals. Many largely unimpressive sample bags have crossed my path in the past so I tend to pay no mind to it: excited tittering is almost more important than the coffee in this industry.
Blissfully ignorant to progresses made more recently, I had a search for the Sopacdi Cooperative website - I won't provide a link to the page I was directed to by a California-based coffee blogger (ALWAYS check your links people!). Suffice to say, further investigation was required...
Some hurried digging, before Harvey walked in and started questioning what he was actually paying me for, uncovered this vastly more helpful factsheet about the women who work on the Sopacdi farms, as well as a very interesting blog entitled "Coffee and Conflict" from one of the charity groups working with the women which provides a little background into the D.R.C. coffee trade, and how the Rwandan conflict affected the industry, it's farmers and their families.
The coffee itself arrived with what is arguably their best label design yet - and was carted straight upstairs to Harvey's Coffee School (yep, this is a real thing) for cupping and analysis.
Overall the guys scored what we're lovingly referring to as "The Dr" an 88. Mild pointed acidity and a clean cup, with fruity flavours, The Dr fell down on mouth feel and aftertaste.
Meanwhile, downstairs, The Dr found itself incorporated into both our Flat Whites and Long Blacks just fine, however it's definitely the pour-over where he really does his best work. I found The Dr, when filtered, mild and fragrant. He has definite honey notes and reminds me of waking up to the smells in my dad's kitchen in far north Queensland, roughly two-dozen girlfriends ago, when fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, home-made croissants and fresh coffee was the diet of choice.
I never liked that girlfriend, but for the same reasons, I like this coffee. They both sneak in and get under your skin. In an industry that seems to have forgotten there is good African Arabica to be found that isn't Sidamo or Yirgacheffe, The Dr provides a refreshing escape from the daily grind.
Butterworths' D. R. Congo will be available at Honey + Harvey for the duration of March (supply dependant, of course). Ask me any time Mon-Fri if you'd like to try it on the filter for free, and please leave your comments and feedback!