Burundi's challenge as well as it's strength is it's geographic location. Situated next to Tanzania and Kenya (two rock-star coffee producers), the geographic blueprint that is placed on coffees from Burundi is obvious. Burundi is both like it's African neighbors and yet is its very own. The downside of it's location being that its landlocked and long travel times on undeveloped infrastructure doesn't always promote the easiest preservation of quality characteristics.
This coffee is ripe with floral, chocolate notes and a lemon-like brightness in the brew, a result of the double fermentation washed processing. When a coffee is mechanically stripped of it's cherry it still has a sticky layer called mucilage. One way to remove this is to let the coffee sit in tanks of water where yeasts begin to eat away at the sugary mucilage. Coffees will stay in these fermentation tanks for 12-24 hrs, the final time coming down to the judgement of an experience producer. With double fermentation (developed in Kenya) the coffee is then put back into a fermentation tank a second time for up to 24 hrs. This second fermentation is meant to bring more complexity to the coffee.
After fermentation the coffee then make it's way down a series of tiled channels where it is manually agitated to shake loose any remaining solids and then is dried in the sun on dedicated patios.
The producer from which we source this years lot is Jean Clement Birabereye who after running several other successful processing facilities now runs his own in the Kayanza Province. Jean in fact is well accomplished as his own entrepreneur so far. His first run of coffee in 2011 placed his coffee as a 4th place winner in the coveted Burundi Prestige Cup. A competition that compares coffee submissions from all over Burundi. We hope to be able to sell his coffee for many years to come.