Thumbnail Filmstrip of Burundi Kayanza Twaranyuzwe Images
About Burundi Kayanza Twaranyuzwe
Arrived early July 2022, new crop, in grainpro.
After cupping a group of Burundi samples we decided to buy two lots this being the first of them to be offered. Only a small quantity was available.
This coffee was produced using coffee from over 300 farmers at the Twaranyuzwe Cooperative which was formed by a group of small farm holders in 2013 and has operated and maintained their own washing station since 2015. Twaranyuzwe is an independent organization within the larger COCOCA Cooperative Consortium. COCOCA functions as a cooperative union that offers various services to its membership, which now represents more than 33 coops, 27,000 farmers, 34 washing stations and their own dry mill in Ngozi.
Burundi is made up of 18 different provinces, and this lot was produced by small holders in the province of Kayanza, in the northern part of the country near the border with Rwanda. The coffee, grown on rich volcanic soil, was fully washed, double fermented in the local manner, and sun dried on raised beds for 12-18 days, and finally sent to Ngozi province to be dry milled. The farms that grow this coffee are quite small, averaging just around one and a quarter acres each. Some farmers have 50-100 trees, but many others have a mere 10 or 20; very few have enough space for several hundred trees.
Coffee was first introduced to Burundi by the Belgians in the 1930s. For a country where approximately 90% of the population relies on farming for a living, coffee and tea have remained the top two respective cash crops for generations. The vast majority of Burundi's coffee producers are small farm holders who manage an average of 200 trees on single, 1-acre plots or smaller. These producers are responsible for growing and harvesting their own lot of cherries which are in turn sold to either privately-run or government owned wash stations called Sogestals.
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.
- Country: Burundi
- Producer: Smallholder members of Twaranyuzwe Coop
- Region: Kayanza
- Altitude: 1700 to 2000 meters
- Varietal: Red Bourbon
- Harvest: April-June
- Processing: Washed - Double Fermentation
- Drying: Sun dried on raised beds
- Moisture: ( 9.6%) Density: (0.74g/ml)
Coffee cherry being brought to the cooperative by bike
Cup Characteristics: Aromas of brown sugar, and milk chocolate. Flavors of nectarine, lemon, and red apple. Juicy with a silky and full texture.
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.
Burundi coffee facts:
Population: 8.98 million people
Coffee Production: 515 thousand bags (60 kg) or 68 million pounds. Arabica is 96% of production.
Country bag capacity: 132 pounds - 60 kg
Domestic Consumption: Very little.
Coffee Export: 510 thousand bags (60 kg)
Cultivated Area: 60,000 hectares (about 150,000 acres)
Harvests: February - June
Arabica Introduced: Arabica introduced by the Belgians in early 1930s.
Specialty Coffee Regions: The western and central regions.
Grades: Superior grades of washed coffee are Ngoma Mild, AA and A based on size and number of allowable defects. Average moisture content is 11.5%.
Farms: Entirely small holder based activity with over 800.000 families directly involved in coffee farming. Farms are very small with most only 50 to 250 trees per farm. Coffee is cultivated at altitudes ranging from 1250 and 2000 meters above sea level.
Botanical Varietals: Bourbon almost exclusively but very small quantities of Jackson and Mibirizi.
Since land is scarce in small Burundi it is more economically desirable that the specialty coffee be developed for its improved income. At present there are about 140 washing stations where local subsistence farmers can bring their freshly harvested coffee cherries for processing. Most processing is traditional washed method, with some semi washed being done where washing stations do not yet exist. Burundi is landlocked between Rwanda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo with a significant portion of its land adjacent to Lake Tanganyika. Coffee from Burundi is attracting increasing attention from the specialty coffee industry, as has neighboring Rwanda.