Burundi Benga Washed


Burundi is one of our most preferred coffee origins thanks to the incredible quality of coffee produced there but also due to the relatively early stages of development the country is in with regards to coffee production. This presents us with an exciting opportunity to seek out some amazing washing stations and try to ensure purchasing models are developed in line with social and environmental responsibility – this is still quite a challenge at the moment due to the current way the supply chain is set up in Burundi but we hope that with an increasing demand for transparent and traceable practices that this will come in the next few years.

This coffee comes to us from the Mpanga washing station in the northern and well known region of Kayanza which borders Rwanda and possesses many of the same growing conditions – hilly terrain, high altitude and an abundance of Bourbon! This washing station services around 3,400 smallholder producers all of whom have an average of between half a hectare and two hectares of land which they use to grow a variety of crops, coffee being the only cash crop and the main source of income for the family.

Benga is the name of the hill that this particular lot comes to us from, the coffee picked there is processed at the Mpanga station which was established in 2008 and is managed by Jean-Clement Birabereye.  The cherry is first floated to separate any overripe or underripe beans before being pulped and washed using the 72 hour soaking process whereby the parchment cherry is first washed to remove the sticky mucilage and then soaked in clean water bringing about more complexity in the cup. Once the washing is complete the beans are then dried on raised beds, carefully rotated regularly to encourage even drying. The result is a crisp and clean coffee with great balance and flavour thanks to the complex acidity running through the cup.

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