TASTING: Cherry yogurt, apricot, red currant
GROWERS: Communal smallholder farms averaging 1 hectare
ELEVATION: 2,000 masl
HARVEST: May 2018
PROCESS: Fully washed
Net wt. 10oz (285g)
This coffee is bright and sweet, with excellent structure. It is fruity, super creamy and very clean with some herb-like notes. Burundi is always one of our favorite origins and this is the best lot we tasted this year. Enjoy!
Some notes [edited down for clarity] from our importer about production in Burundi and efforts taken to achieve such quality coffee:
"Out of the 4 washing stations owned by the producer Salum Ramadhan, Buziraguhindwa was the first one. Our history with Salum dates back to 2011, when the washing station was new, and the relationship has worked out great since then. He’s extremely detail oriented, spends a lot of time to train local staff and has a great loyal workforce. He’s also has a transport business and manages domestic coffee logistics as well for us, this means that we are always getting our coffees out quickly while they are still fresh.
Buziraguhindwa is a communal station in the high altitudes in Kayanza Province, Muruta Commune. [Salum's] mainly producing fully washed, but has in the past years also experimented [with] producing good amounts of naturals, and now also honeys [process]....
The coffees are all selected as daily lots, named by the local area or Collin (hill) where the cherries are purchased. Farms in Burundi are small, often below 1 hectare each with some hundred trees. This means that a daily lot [e.g. 25 bags of green] can consist of coffee from some hundred growers... They generally collect cherries from a range of areas with different altitudes, growing conditions etc, and the flavor range is pretty wide spread according to that. The coffees named Buziraguhindwa are coffees from the surroundings of the washing station. Coffees with names like Nkonge and Muruta are coffees grown in other areas, but still processed at Buziraguhindwa.
Picking and Selection
The main harvest will normally start very slowly in March, peak around May (depending on altitude and weather) and end in July. The family members on the small farms are working the land, picking the coffee cherries themselves in the afternoon or on Saturdays. They will then either deliver the cherries to Buziraguhindwa washing station by foot or bicycle, or to the closest collection points where Salum will have his site collector, meaning a representative from Buziraguhindwa washing station. They are strategically placed in remote areas to buy cherries. The farmers are free to deliver their cherries to anyone offering the highest price. And the competition in this area can be hard. Salum and his collectors will communicate with the local farmers on selective picking and sorting. To attract farmers with the best qualities they are constantly paying premiums above the market prices to improve the product...
... Buziraguhindwa washing stations have strict routines for cherry reception. The coffees are sorted by the farmers at the receiving stations on raised tables, or they even have small flotation tank system for each farmer at delivery. They also have workers dedicated to sort out unripe and overripe coffees [cherries] for their special preparation of micro-lots. The pre production flotation process is to first put the cherries in water tanks. They will then skim off the floaters and give it back to the farmer before the coffees are hand sorted to separate out unripe/partially-ripe.
Fermentation, Washing and Drying
The elevation at the washing station is high, and climate is cool, meaning it’s easier to control the fermentation time. The traditional fermentation and washing process in Burundi is a lengthy procedure with double fermentation (dry and wet fermentation) before soaking. The double fermentation is a labor intensive process that also requires a lot of water, and creates excess wastewater. They changed the process to reduce water usage and labor, while increasing capacity and avoiding over fermentation.
They generally do a 12 hour dry fermentation. It’s then graded in washing channels in to 3-4 grades based on density before 12-18 hours soaking time in clean water. From there it goes to pre drying under shade with handpicking of wet parchment before entering the elevated and sun exposed drying tables. Drying normally takes 15-20 days depending on the climate and rainfall. It’s not uncommon with rain during the drying, and they have to be quick to cover up the parchment when they see the clouds are building up."
Roasting and Shipping Schedule:
Coffee is roasted on Wednesdays. If you order anytime up until 11pm Tuesday, we will roast the next day and ship on Thursday. Orders received after 11pm Tuesday may not get roasted until the following week. If we have extra inventory, we will ship ASAP. Email us at shippingwoes (at) vibrantcoffeeroasters.com if you have questions about when your order will be roasted and/or shipped.