Burundi is a tiny, landlocked country located in the heart of Africa, bordered by Rwanda to the North, Lake Tanganyika and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the West, and Tanzania to the East. Its geography, climate, ethnic makeup, and history are closely related to that of neighboring Rwanda. Coffee is farmed by smallholders, whom on average have 100 coffee trees growing alongside subsistence crops such as cassava, beans, sweet potatoes, and sorghum. Income generated from coffee cultivation is typically invested in the education of their children, in hopes for a brighter future.
Our first offering from Burundi comes from Ibuco, a family enterprise meaning ‘a new dawn is breaking’. By constructing the Nkuba washing station closer to the community where the coffee is grown, Ibuco has empowered the local farmers to improve the quality of their coffee by providing access to a local resource. Now, the cherries are processed within hours of harvest, helping to preserve the fresh fruit flavors of their crop and in return receive a higher premium for quality. Ibuco is invested in this community, distributing fertilizer and seedlings in addition to technical assistance.
During harvest, perfectly ripe cherry is delivered to the Nkuba washing station by members of the cooperative. In the evening, the cherry is pulped, undergoes a lengthy double fermentation, and is then carefully sun-dried on raised tables. This meticulously sorted lot was shipped in grain-pro lined bags, helping to preserve freshness during the long journey to Seattle.