Sweet and floral aroma with notes of fresh papaya, sweet spice + blueberry raisin pie in the cup. Clean, bright and a seriously enjoyable natural coffee.
Mubuga Washing Station, Ngozi, Burundi
Smallholders delivering to Mubuga Washing Station
This beautiful coffee is comprised from various smallholder farmers who deliver their hand picked harvest to the Mubuga washing station, situated around 1,500 MASL in Ngozi. Despite the ubiquity of coffee growing in Burundi, each smallholder owns a relatively small amount of trees (around 200 on average) usually in their backyards. Each tree yields about 1.5kg of cherry so the average producer can expect to sell about 200-300kg of coffee cherry annually.
The Mubuga washing station is owned by our in-country partner Bugestal who serves farmers by providing prices significantly above average for delivered cherry and by ensuring training in good agricultural practices. At the washing station, farmers can also get organic fertilizer from reconverted coffee pulp.
Quality assurance begins as soon as farmers deliver their cherry. All cherry is floated in small buckets as a first step to check its quality. Bugestal still purchases floaters (damaged, underripes, etc) but immediately separates the two qualities and only markets floaters as B-quality cherry. After floating, the higher quality cherry is sorted again by hand to remove any damaged, underripe and overripe cherries.
After sorting, the cherry is then transported directly to the drying tables where it will dry slowly in a single layer for 3-4 weeks. It’s covered with tarps during periods of rain as well as the hottest part of the day and at night.
Once dry, the parchment coffee is then bagged and taken to the warehouse. Bugestal’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.
Before shipment, coffee is sent to Budeca, Burundi’s largest dry mill. The coffee is milled and then hand sorted by a team of hand-pickers who look closely at every single bean to ensure zero defects. It takes a team of two hand-pickers a full day to look over a single bag. UV lighting is also used on the beans and any beans that glows, usually an indication of a defect, is removed.
Budeca is located in Burundi’s new capital city, Gitega, with a population of around 30,000 people. Since there are approximately 3,000 people working at the mill, mostly as hand pickers, this means that Budeca employs nearly 10% of the total population in Gitega for at least half the year (during the milling season). The same is true in the provinces of Ngozi and Kayanza, where Greenco and Bugestal are the number one employers in the region during the coffee harvest season. This has an incalculable impact on a country like Burundi, with unemployment rates above 50%, especially in rural areas and among young people.
We ship freshly roasted coffee Monday - Friday and aim to dispatch within 48 hours. Orders placed after midday Wednesday may not ship until the following week. Please see our FAQ for all shipping details. PLEASE NO PO BOXES.