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 the Nkanda Washing Station in the Tangara Commune of the Kayanza province. The Kayanza province is one of the most well-known coffee producing regions of Burundi due to its volcanic soil and relatively high altitudes.
Similar to many coffee producing countries in Africa, Burundi is comprised of many smallholder producers who bring their coffees to washing stations to collectively export. This coffee is the product of 1,253 smallholder producers within the Kayanza province who brought their coffee to the Nkanda Washing Station to be processed and exported. It is comprised entirely of the Red Bourbon variety. The Nkanda washing station was started by Pierre Nzeyimana and his family in 2017. It has greatly benefited these smallholder producers from the region.
The cherries of this washed-process coffee were handpicked by the producers. At the washing station, they were floated to remove unripe cherries which float to the surface. They were then mechanically depulped, and allowed to double ferment, first dry in containers for 12-18 hours, then in a tank of water for an additional 12-18 hours. The coffee was transferred to drying tables for an initial drying period of 24-48 hours, then to raised beds in the sun for the completion of drying.
- Region: Kayanza
- Town: Tangara Commune
- Process: Washed
- Elevation: 1600 - 2000 meters
- Variety: Red Bourbon