Runinya, Kayanza Province
1500 - 1700 masl
454 female farmers delivering to Izuba CWS
The Izuba washing station in Kayanza, Burundi is a relatively new venture for longtime Caravan partners and social enterprise importers, Raw Material. Built in 2019, the goal of the station is to allow greater control over processing to increase quality and therefore prices for coffee, as well as provide employment opportunities for local farmers. The station is located close to a river, providing much needed fresh water for the processing of coffee. The station began collecting coffee in earnest in 2020, from the three hills around the station on which more than a thousand farmers live. This year is the first season in which the staff at Izuba have separated coffees from different areas and producers, including this lot which was collected exclusively from the association’s female members.
Ishurwe, meaning ‘flower’ in the Kirundi language, is the name chosen by the 454 women who produced this lot. The women, who all live in the nearby hills, delivered their ripe cherry over just a couple of months last summer, receiving the first of three payments on the day of delivery. The second payment is made at the end of the harvest, when the station receives the funds from export, and in the case of Raw Material, a third payment is made shortly after the second payment, representing the quality premium and the final sale price the coffees achieved. This third payment has been remarkably successful in supporting the economic security of the farmers and encouraging quality both on farm and at the station.
Once each farmers’ daily harvest arrives at Izuba, it is inspected by the intake personnel to ensure even ripeness and lack of impurities. After accepting the cherry quality, recording the names and details of the delivery and paying the farmer, the station then floats the cherries in long serpentine channels, allowing the floating underripe fruits to be skimmed off the top. Following depulping, the beans are fermented for an average of 12 hours in large tanks where they are periodically agitated to remove the fruity mucilage. After this short fermentation period, they are laid on tables for a pre-drying hand sort, to remove insect-damaged, discoloured or otherwise unfit beans before drying. Hand sorting takes place yet again after the coffee has achieved target moisture, meaning the final product is extremely clean and defect-free, having passed through quite literally hundreds of hands before it arrives at our roastery.
This coffee from the women of Ishurwe is a fantastic example of a crisp, clean Burundian coffee. Burundi is a country with the natural environment and technical knowledge to produce the highest caliber coffee on the market today, but struggle with access to market and poor physical and financial infrastructure. We at Caravan are proud supporters of emerging origins and are delighted to share the story of Izuba with our customers around the world.
Caravan Coffee Roasters are proud members of 1% for the Planet. For more information please visit https://www.onepercentfortheplanet.org
Like most Burundian coffees, this lot has a complex acidity and refined sweetness that sings as filter and especially on pour over. Try a ratio of 1 to 16.5, using filtered water just off boil.