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    Burundi Horezo Washing Station

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      Burundi Horezo Washing Station


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      About Burundi Horezo Washing Station

      Arrived mid May 2024, new crop, in Ecotact.

      This coffee originates from the Horezo Washing Station situated in the Bururi region of Burundi and the coffee is from farm members of the Kawa Zamurabawe Cooperative. This region is known for its arid and cooler climate compared to other northern regions of Burundi. Because of this, Bururi yields a coffee with vibrant acidity and distinct sweetness.

      In the 1930s, when German settlers initially introduced coffee seeds to Bururi, the local farmers were persistent in opposing the mandate to cultivate coffee trees on their land. They rebelled against the ordinance by drenching the trees with boiling water, convincing authorities that coffee cultivation was impractical and unsuitable for their terrain. Consequently, coffee production in the region emerged relatively recently.

      Translated as “Progress Through Coffee”, the Kawa Zamurabawe Coop has been in operation since 2015 and is affiliated with The Consortium of Coffee Cooperatives, or COCOCA. All cherry producers delivering to this washing station reside in one of six surrounding hills: Musenyi, Muheki, Karambi, Rubirizi, Nyacambuko, or Kanyinya. Approximately 800 smallholder farms contribute their cherries to Kawa Zamurabawe throughout the year. Situated at an elevation of around 1610 meters, these producers are trained to selectively harvest only ripe cherries.

      Once harvested from farms, which are typically less than one hectare in size, the cherries are transported to the washing station and subjected to flotation upon arrival. Following this, the fully washed batch undergoes a 12-hour fermentation process in water, followed by a 15-day drying period on raised beds before final sorting and export.  After wet processing at the Horezo washing station, the coffee is delivered to the Horamama coffee dry mill of Kayanza in the North of the country.

      • Country: Burundi
      • Producers: Kawa Zamurabawe Cooperative Members
      • Washing Station: Horezo
      • Region: Bururi
      • Commune: Songa
      • Altitude: 1610 meters
      • Varietal: Bourbon
      • Harvest: April
      • Processing: 12 hour soaking fermentation. Fully Washed
      • Drying: Sun dried on raised beds
      • Dry Mill: Horamama, in Kayanza

      The majority of coffee in Burundi is grown by subsistance farmers, who grow food crops for their own supply as well as some cash crops (like coffee), not on larger factory farms or plantations, as is the norm in other countries. Coffee, once picked, is rushed to the local washing station for processing. The traditional processing method involves pulping the coffee and "dry fermenting" it up to twelve hours, at which point it gets washed in clean mountain water for another 12-24 hours. The beans are then soaked for an additional 12-18 hours before being dried in parchment on raised beds for 8-10 days.

      About 90% of the population relies on farming for a living and coffee is the main product being farmed. There are more than 600,000 coffee farmers in Burundi so it is easy to see how critical quality, exportable coffee is to the nation. The overall quality is good and it is our job to find the gems. The popularity of specialty coffee production has risen in Burundi in recent years, as it earns higher premiums for farmer members of washing stations. Coffee marketing legislation enacted in 2008 allows for direct sales contracts between Burundian producers and international coffee buyers, roasters and importers (exportation and marketing were previously controlled by the government). This legislation also permits the payment of a quality premium to those responsible for producing "specialty" coffee, which follows a similar model in Rwanda where coffee quality has seen major improvement in recent years.

      Cup Characteristics:  Very sweet smelling, brown sugar, caramel. Tart green apple, stone fruit with black tea tannins add dry finish. Solid body with a lingering clean finish.

      Roasting Notes: Bourbon coffees tend to be sturdy and dense, and as such can be roasted to most levels. Our personal preference is to pull at the very start of 2nd Crack; at this level some high notes are present while the chocolate elements of the coffee are well defined.