Altitude: 1700 - 1900 meters above sea level
Farm: various community small-holders
Washing Station : Kibingo
Owner: Green Co
Variety: Red Bourbon
Process: Cima Anaerobic Natural
Tasting Notes: Clean, sweet, and very boozy with notes of green and pink lollies.
The Kibingo washing station is in the commune of Kayanza in northern Burundi. The station itself sits 1,893 meters above sea level. The altitude of the farms in the neighboring hills that supply the washing station varies from 1,700 to 1,900 meters above sea level.
Kibingo serves 3,515 registered coffee growers, spread over 18 hills in the area. All producers registered at a Greenco washing station are organized in groups of 30 people, headed by a farm leader. This leader acts as a spokesman to facilitate communication and organization with the washing station.
The washing station is equipped with 10 fermentation tanks, 2 soaking tanks and a drying field with 165 drying tables and 4 pre-drying tables. Kibingo can process 750,000 kg of cherry per day.
At the washing station, farmers can obtain organic fertilizer from composted coffee pulp. To promote farm renovation, producers can get low-cost, subsidized coffee seedlings at the washing station. Each station has its own nursery for this purpose.
Kibingo washing station participates in a number of farmer outreach and support projects include a goat and pig project, Farmer Hub, strengthening cooperatives and distributing fertilizer and coffee trees.
There are 3,515 smallholders living around Kayanza, Burundi who deliver their cherry to Kibingo washing station. In addition to operating 13 washing stations in Burundi and processing excellent coffee, Greenco is also working with communities to increase farmer livelihoods and general equality in coffee producing areas.
Most coffee trees in Burundi are Red Bourbon for reasons of quality. Because of the increasingly small size of coffee plantings, aging rootstock is a very big issue in Burundi. Many farmers have trees that are over 50 years old, but with small plots to farm, it is difficult to justify taking trees entirely out of production for the 3-4 years it will take new plantings to begin to yield. In order to encourage farmers to renovate their plantings, Greenco purchases seeds from the Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Burundi (ISABU), establishes nurseries and sells the seedlings to farmers at or below cost.
Despite the ubiquity of coffee growing in Burundi, each smallholder producers a relatively small harvest. The average smallholder has approximately 250 trees, normally in their backyards. Each tree yields an average of 1.5 kilos of cherry so the average producer sells about 200-300 kilos of cherry annually.
The average cherry buying price for Greenco in 2019 was significantly above average. Washing stations make the first payment to farmers between 15-30 June. The second payment comes later in the summer. If the coffee wins a competition or sells for extremely high specialty prices, Greenco gives another payment approximately a year after the harvest season.
During the harvest season, all coffee is selectively hand-picked. Most families only have 200 to 250 trees, and harvesting is done almost entirely by the family. Greenco knows that even small distances can be time consuming and expensive to travel for smallholder farmers, and they know that receiving cherry immediately after harvest is crucial to quality. Therefore, smallholders can bring their cherries either directly to a washing station or to one of the 10-15 collection sites situated throughout growing areas. Farmers are paid the same for their quality cherry regardless of where they bring their cherries. In this way, farmers are not disadvantaged due to their location and Greenco bears the cost of transport to washing station’s.
Cherry is placed in airtight containers and Cima yeast purchased from the French company Lalcafe is added to the tanks. The tanks are then covered and left to ferment in this environment for approximately 36 hours.
LALCAFÉ CIMA™ yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) was especially developed for coffee production over a four-year period of research and trials. Trials in various regions and environments showed that Cima is well suited to better control the wet process’ efficiency and to upgrade the cup quality. The yeast is able to control the fermentation process against the risk of spoilage micro-organisms that can generate undesirable defects. Furthermore, its specific metabolism and its high capacity of implantation even at cold temperatures (minimum 15°C inside the coffee tank) allows for the expression of fresh and fruity characteristics of the coffee beans while respecting the varietal original aromas of the beans. The longer fermentation time for yeast processed coffees also allows for more developed flavors. The extra time enables the beans to absorb metabolites, which can enhance flavors. Complexity, acidity, brightness, floral and high notes and more are all boosted by the lengthened fermentation time.
After fermentation, cherry is carried to the drying tables, where they will dry slowly for 2-3 weeks, during which time the cherry is repeatedly sorted and sifted to ensure even drying. Cherry is left to dry from sunrise to sunset and is covered with a sheet during the evening or when it rains. The moisture level is carefully monitored and any cherry with visual defects is removed.
Once dry, coffee is then bagged and taken to the warehouse. Greenco’s team of expert cuppers assess every lot (which are separated by station, day and quality) at the lab. The traceability of the station, day and quality is maintained throughout the entire process.
Read more here: https://passportcoffee.com.au/blogs/roastery-ramblings/burundi-kibingo-cima-anaerobic-natural
*all coffee delivered as whole bean unless specified*
*please comment with grind type if you would like your coffee ground*