0.50  12.65 

Origin: Burundi

Farm / washing station: Gahahe washing station

Flavor Notes: yellow mirabelle, sugar cane, earl grey

Best for: Filtr

Varietal: Red Bourbon

Process: Washed

Altitude: 1800 metres altitude

Region: Kayanza

Acidity: Medium acidity

Cupping score: 86+

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It’s time to introduce you our first coffee from Burundi this year. Washed coffee from Gahahe station we originally intended it as an espresso-only coffee but after our little oversight we roasted it first on a filter and tasted it. We couldn’t keep it to ourselves.

The Gahahe washing station is located in the town of Gahahe in Kayanza province. It can be found at an altitude of 1 805 metres. The station is equipped with 10 fermentation tanks, 4 coffee cherry sorting tables, 2 soaking tanks and a drying field with 180 drying tables and 18 pre-drying tables. In total it can process up to 750 tonnes of cherries per season. Gahahe is involved in a number of projects aimed at assisting and supporting farmers including a livestock project and a number of Farmer Hub projects aimed at strengthening cooperatives and improving yields.

Many of the trees in Burundi are red bourbon variety. Due to the increasingly smaller size of coffee plantations the ageing of the rootstock is a major problem in Burundi. Many farmers have trees that are over 50 years old but the small size of the land they farm makes it difficult to justify taking trees completely out of production for 3-4 years before new plantings start to produce yields. To encourage farmers to renew their plantations, Bugestal buys seeds from the Burundian Institute of Agricultural Sciences (ISABU), establishes nurseries and sells seedlings to farmers at below cost. At the Gahahe station, farmers can also obtain organic fertilizer derived from composted coffee pulp.

Despite the ubiquity of coffee cultivation in Burundi each smallholder has a relatively small crop. The average smallholder farmer has about 250 trees, usually in their backyards. Each tree produces an average of 1.5 kg of cherries so the average producer sells about 200-300 kg of cherries per year.

During the harvest season all the coffee is selectively hand-picked. Most families have only 200-250 trees and the harvest is carried out almost exclusively by the family. Quality assurance begins as soon as the farmers deliver their cherries. The cherries are wet-processed under constant supervision. The pulping, fermentation time, washing, canal sorting and final soaking are carefully monitored. All the cherries are first floated in small buckets to check their quality. Greenco still buys floating cherries (damaged, under-ripe, etc.) but immediately separates the two qualities and sells the floating cherries only as B-quality cherries. After floating the higher quality cherries are re-sorted by hand to remove all damaged, under-ripe and over-ripe cherries.

After sorting, the cherries are crushed within 6 hours of delivery. The coffee is dry fermented for up to 12 hours and then soaked in clean mountain water for 12 to 24 hours. The parchment is then soaked for a further 12 to 18 hours and then moved to drying beds. The parchment is often raked to ensure even drying and to remove any damaged grains. The parchment takes approximately 2 to 3 weeks to dry.

Notes from our baristas:
We love the coffees from Burundi and Rwanda at our roastery and always looking forward to spring when they come into production. Gahahe is their beautiful, clean and sweet representative. We prepared the V60 on a classic grind like we are used to with washed coffees with a time of around 3 minutes. So its preparation was nothing out of the ordinary and the result was a clean, balanced coffee with a tea-like character. The body is dominated by fruity notes of yellow mirabelle, and a dense sweetness similar to cane sugar with a combination of black tea and citrus on the finish as we are used to with earl grey.

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