Brewing & Tasting: Burundi Matongo

Dec 8, 2016



With a syrupy body, intensely bright and lively acidity, and cane sugar sweetness, the Burundi Matongo is probably the most polarizing coffee in our line-up. The complexity of this coffee will not disappoint a more adventurous coffee drinker, but, as our lightest roast, it may scare off those who prefer a more roasty and balanced cup. For those who do enjoy waking up to a  cheerful play of sweet and tart, the Burundi Matongo won’t fail to delight.






After selecting the roast profile for each coffee, we then brew the coffee on multiple brewing apparati to determine which method makes the most of the coffee’s strengths.



One of the things that makes this coffee so unique and interesting is its chameleon-like ability to truly transform with each brewing method. Depending on which characteristics you choose to highlight, any brewing method will produce a complex and satisfactory cup of coffee. We ranked our favorites based on overall complexity and enjoyment. 

First Choice – Chemex

Our team felt like the Chemex made the most of all the Burundi Matongo has to offer. It had notes of brown sugar, bergamont, and orange blossom on the nose, an intense candy-like sweetness, a lively and effervescent acidity, and a smooth, clean finish. We feel that a manual pour over like a Chemex is definitely the best way to make this coffee sing.

Second Choice – Drip (Oxo Barista Brain)

The team also enjoyed the balance provided by a regular drip coffee maker. The notes of citrus, caramel sweetness, and clean finish were not lost on this brewing method. It did, however, mellow those characteristics out a bit, providing more of an approachable balance of flavors. This method is the best way to transform the Burundi Matongo into more of a crowd-pleaser.  

Third Choice – Aeropress

If intense acidity is your jam, try the Burundi Matongo on the Aeropress. The already bright coffee is taken to a whole new level using this brewing method. We found notes of lemon zest, brown sugar, and sweet potato, but be warned – the acidity is not for everybody. It could easily be perceived as being pithy and bitter depending on the drinker.

Fourth Choice – Clever Dripper

Still a solid choice is the Clever Dripper. Like the regular drip, it mellows out some of the acidity and sweetness, offering a more balanced cup. We thought it was soft and sweet but much less nuanced than some of the other brewing methods. The Clever provided a nice, creamy body with a clean finish. This would be a great way to introduce the Burundi Matongo to someone who prefers a more mellow, balanced cup.

Not So Much – French Press

One word – boring. While the French press produced a perfectly fine cup of coffee, it left the complexity and sweetness muddled, killed the acidity, and failed to contribute anything to the body or mouthfeel that we found significantly interesting. Our advice? Stick with an automatic drip or Clever dipper for a mellower brew and less effort. 


For tips and tricks, head over to our brewing guide or feel free to comment with questions.

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