- Region: Busambo, Muruta Commune, Kayanza Province
- Co-Op: UMOCO processing facility, owned by Burundi Seeds Speciality, 847 smallholder producers
- Process: Natural
- Elevation: 1800 - 2200 meters
- Variety: Red Bourbon
Burundi is a heart-shaped country in East Africa, bordered to the north by Rwanda, to the East and Southeast by Tanzania, and to the west by the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is one of the smallest countries in Africa, and is primarily a rural society, with most of its land being used for subsistence agriculture.
Burundi was an independent kingdom until around the beginning of the 20th century, when Germany took control of the area. After the First World War, it was established as a colony of Belgium by the League of Nations. Under Belgian rule, coffee was grown as a cash crop and exported to Europe. In 1962, Burundi gained independence. Since then, the country has faced genocide, civil war, and much political unrest. This has caused great difficulties in maintaining a consistent, high quality coffee industry. However, in the last few years, Burundi has begun exporting unique and complex coffees.
This coffee comes from 847 smallholder producers from the Busambo microlot in the Muruta commune of the Kayanza region of Burundi. It is a naturally processed coffee of the red bourbon variety, offering a mild and balanced flavor reminiscent of black cherry, cola, and butterscotch.
This coffee was exported by Burundi Seeds Speciality (BSS); a coffee cooperative in Kayanza, Burundi owned by Juste Picasso, Jeremiah Nakimuhana, and Zephyrin Banzubaze. The focus of BSS is to develop the industry of coffee production in Burundi, and to preserve the natural environment of the region, as the farms are located nearby Burundi’s Kibira National Park, an area containing Burundi’s only montane rainforest. The forest area has long been considered sacred by the people of Burundi.
This specific lot is naturally processed. UMOCO’s method for natural processing is to submerge the coffee cherries in water to remove floaters (ripe cherries sink to the bottom of the tank, while unripe coffee and defects float to the top). The remaining cherries are dried on raised beds in the open sun for 5-10 days. The cherries are then moved into clean bags for 3-5 days to initiate yeast and sugar development. The coffee is then, again, placed on raised beds for 20 days for drying.
Check out the cooperative’s Instagram here.