Estate: Bukhorka Lot, Gaterama Wet Mill
Altitude: 1600 - 1850m
Certification: Community Project
Processing: Fully Washed
Harvest: March - May
SCA Score: 84.5
Tasting Notes: Cherry, lemon, blackberry.
Roasting Notes: Just before second crack
Burundi Bukhorka - Gaterama Wet Mill - Per Kg
The Bukhorka separation comes to us through the Gaterama wet mill in Bugendana, central to Burundi on a map. Part of the Central Highland Provinces, the country lies to the edge of the Albertine Rift, the western part of the Great Rift Valley providing altitude for a number of coffee growing areas.
The washing station is involved in a number of social and environmental projects including healthcare and training for farmers as well as providing seedlings for new coffee planting and shade tree provision as well.
Mibirizi is likely the oldest varietal to Burundi and Rwanda (according to World Coffee Research), though a lot of it’s origin story is less than clear. Recent genetic tests show it related to the Bourbon-Typica group, though naturalization and some breeding have occurred that may have led to slight variations throughout the two countries farms.
The washing station is located at 1500masl, and when the ripe cherry arrives it undergoes a 10 hour dry fermentation followed with a 12 hour wet fermentation before being washed and then soaked for a further 10 hours in tanks. Mostly this is then dried on raised beds under the sun, but in peak times will switch to pyramid drying to deal with the volume.
The Republic of Burundi is a tiny landlocked East African country, nestled between Tanzania to the East, Democratic Republic of Congo to the West and Rwanda to the north. It has been inhabited for over 500 years by two main tribal groups, and ruled as a kingdom before being colonised by Germany. Post World War I Belgium took control of the small nation before handing it independence in 1952 – various bouts of political unrest plagued Burundi for much of the 20th century. Coffee and Tea represent 90% of foreign exchange earnings.
About Burundi Coffee
The coffee industry, like the political and economic situation in Burundi has gone through many changes since independence. Introduced by the Belgians, Burundi coffee has enjoyed periods of privatisation (free market) and government controlled. In the late 1970’s, the entire sector from production to export became state controlled. Today, much of the coffee is back in the hands of private individuals and “Sogestals” (Co Operatives).
Most coffee is fully washed in its processing method, and thanks to substantial investment in research, the blight of ‘Potato’ cups is considerably less prevalent today, than it was 5 to 10 years ago. This consistency in quality is starting to put Burundi on the map of specialty coffee hunters looking for an alternative East African offering. Its high altitudes and good volcanic soils produce a sweet acidic and fruity cup, known throughout the east African region. Burundi’s next challenge is to smooth out the peaks and troughs of its bi-annual production cycle – further increasing consistency.