COFFEE FROM BURUNDI
Our coffee from Burundi comes from the central washing station 'Buziraguhindwa'. The washing station is nestled in the green hills of Kayanza Province at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level. The small country of Burundi is crisscrossed by a high plateau, which is why ideal growing conditions for Arabica coffee prevail in many regions of the country: high altitudes of up to 2200 meters, fertile and mineral-rich volcanic rock soils and a tropical, humid climate offer perfect conditions for the slow and gentle ripening of the coffee cherries. Large plantations are not to be found in Burundi, where coffee is traditionally grown on a small scale. Farmers usually own only a few hectares of land, on which bushes of the Arabica coffee plant are cultivated alongside other crops.
The central Buziraguhindwa Washing Station is supplied with ripe coffee cherries exclusively from local smallholders around the station. The delivered coffee cherries are strictly separated according to their local growing areas, so that the green coffee of each lot can be systematically traced. The Buziraguhindwa Washing Station has been in existence since 2010 and is run by Burundian coffee producer Salum Ramadhan. Salum manages the station with a keen sense of precision and places great emphasis on high-quality processing of the coffee cherries.
THE COFFEE HARVEST
The coffee harvest in Burundi starts in March, peaks in May and can extend into July, depending on the weather. The coffee harvest is time and labor intensive and often the entire family supports the smallholder farmers during harvest time. At the end of a harvest day, farmers take their coffee harvest directly to the surrounding washing stations so that processing of the cherries can begin as soon as possible. Competition in the Kayanza region is high. The smallholders are not contractually bound to a particular washing station and can sell their harvest to the station that offers them the best price. Salum and his team are in close contact with the farmers and offer workshops to improve farming methods and harvesting to increase the quality of the coffee. He also pays the smallholders a very good price per kilo for the coffee cherries, well above the market, to ensure that they are always supplied with harvests of the very best quality.
DELIVERY AND SORTING AT THE WASHING STATION
Shortly after the cherries are delivered, pre-sorting begins. The coffee cherries are placed in large water basins in order to sort out the so-called floaters, i.e. the cherries that float on the water surface because they are too dense or have a defect. These are skimmed off and can be sold elsewhere by the farmers. In the second step, unripe or overripe cherries are sorted out by hand on large tables.
At the Buziraguhindwa Washing Station, the coffee cherries are traditionally processed as fully washed. The station is located at over 2000 meters above zero and is dominated by a cool climate, which makes it easy to control the fermentation process of the beans. The coffee cherries are first processed with a de-pulper, which is used to separate the beans of the cherry from the pulp.
The beans are then dried and fermented for 12 hours in fermentation tanks before spending another 12 to 18 hours in water tanks to be freed from the last residues of pulp. On large drying tables, the beans are once again checked for quality and sorted to finally dry in the sun in a controlled environment for 15 to 20 days. Once the beans have dried down to a certain moisture content, they are packed and made ready for export.
The coffee impresses with its complex sweetness and its fruity floral notes of tangerine, orange blossom and black tea. As a filter coffee, it is wonderfully smooth as well as very pleasant and round in taste. You can find the Burundi Buziraguhindwa filter coffee freshly roasted in our Online Store: TO THE SHOP