Burundi - a small, mountainous country in the Great Lakes area of Eastern Africa - is winning legions of fans across the globe for the unique taste characteristics and high quality of the coffees grown here. Sometimes called the 'Heart of Africa' in reference to both its heart shaped outline as well as its geographic location, Burundi has the terroir, altitude and favourable climate that coffee thrives in.
Bourbon is one of the more widely grown varieties of Arabica coffee. It's a natural mutation of the older 'Typica' variety and is prized for it's figgy sweetness and gentle brightness. It's balanced with a smooth texture and a sweet, just-right finish.
(Fun fact: the name 'Bourbon' originates from the Indian Ocean - when a cutting of 'Typica' coffee was planted and spontaneously mutated in the soil of Bourbon Island (nowadays called Réunion).
Kayanza is a region in northern Burundi, bordering Rwanda. Together with Ngozi it makes up a larger area called Buynenzi - is the main coffee-producing region of the country.
The weather is mild, with an average annual temperature of 18°C, while most coffee farms are between 1,700 and 2,000 m.a.s.l. The highest rainfall is in April, while July is drier.
All these conditions combine to create coffee known for its high acidity and citric notes. In 2015, a Kayanza coffee scored 91.09 in the Cup of Excellence.
The Washing Station: Kibingo
The washing station was built in 1986, and currently collects coffee cherries from over 3,500 local farmers. It lies at an altitude of 1893 meters, close to the Congo-Nile Crest. The washing station is known for its wooden bridge that was built over the river that runs through it. The name 'Kibingo' comes from the Kirundi word urubingo which means 'reeds'. Reeds were planted along the river to contain the water and to prevent the surrounding soils from eroding.
Coffee in Burundi is mainly grown on small farms which do not process the cherry themselves, but rather, bring it to the local washing station. The best run stations pay more for quality cherry, meaning they are all fully ripe, well developed and brought from the farm rapidly to be immediately processed. This is perhaps most evident at Kibingo Washing Station, whose coffees have placed in the top 10 of the Cup of Excellence competition in 2017, 2015 and 2013, and won 1st Place in 2017.
Juicy sweetness! Intense orange notes of marmalade, citrus notes of lemon and sweet notes of stewed plums and brown sugar. A medium body and a smooth mouthfeel.
Cupping Score - 88
Any score over 80 means that a coffee is considered 'speciality'. Over 85 and it's really something special. This coffee has been awarded a cupping score of 88 (by a Q-Grader, licensed by the Speciality Coffee Association).
Processing: Fully Washed
Coffee is delivered to Kibingo where depulping machines remove the fruit from the coffee bean by friction with depulping discs. This is the only automated processing task at Kibingo, where everything else is done by hand. After depulping and grade separation in the machine, beans are placed into fermentation tanks for 10-12 hours, where they are labeled by lot, purchase date, and grade.
Once fermented, the water is drained from tanks into the mucilage canal, and workers then enter the tanks and trample the coffee for 30 minutes to remove any excess mucilage from the fermented parchment coffee. After trampling, the parchment is moved via fresh water into a canal for washing and grading. Here it is washed and soaked, then dried on tables for carefully sorted and managed drying for 15-20 days.
Muttley & Jack's Coffee Roasters
Muttley & Jack’s is a prize winning coffee roastery based in Stockholm. Each month members receive a box of freshly roasted specialty grade coffee with an education pack to help coffee lovers and the coffee curious get more out of their coffee.
The 'Coffee Experience' packages together speciality coffee, travel and education. Discover more about 'Coffee Experience' membership.