Our third of four offerings from Burundi this year, we are very excited to release this new Busambo. While the washed offerings we previously had on the menu presented some more traditional flavors found in coffees from Burundi, we were very impressed with how fruit-forward the flavors in Busambo present themselves while still being crisp and clean for a natural processed coffee. It also makes a great contrast to our La Unica Natural from Honduras, which comparatively is much more intense.
This lot specifically comes from the Burundi Seeds Specialty (BSS )cooperative in the Kayanza region of Burundi. The cooperative owns and manages the UMOCO processing facility, whereby the 847 producers bring their cherries to be processed. UMOCO means light, which essentially reveals the importance of transparency for the cooperative. The three owners, Juste Picasso, Jeremiah Nakimuhana, Zephyrin Banzubaze collectively work with coffee-producing families to develop relationships and spread knowledge about coffee production. Producing coffee is not a business for the BSS members, it is a lifestyle. In some cases, these producers need to diversify income by delivering goods via bicycle such as coal or hosting a taxi service.
The lots are defined and separated based on where they are from. Specifically, this lot is from the Busambo area of the Murata Commune. Once the cherries are picked, they are submerged in a tank of water to remove floaters. The remaining cherries are then dried on raised beds in the open sun for 5-10 days depending on the weather. After this first stage of drying, the cherries are moved into clean bags to initiate the yeast development–the cooling and transformation of the sugars within for 3-5 days.
Once complete, the coffee is then placed on raised drying tables for another 20 days and moved regularly to prevent mold growth.As soon as the moisture content reaches 10-11.5%, the coffee is transported 20km to the dry mill to be hulled and prepared for export.
Nearby, there is the Karbira Rainforest, and the BSS works hard to preserve the natural environment surrounding the farms. The World Bank has also provided grants to organizations dispersing trees to producers. This has allowed for the successful donation of 304,000 trees to the smallholders associated with BSS. Some of the challenges faced by the producers include a lack of education on tree health and maintenance in addition to poor understanding of soil health. BSS are working to improve this knowledge and ameliorate the discrepancies in agricultural knowledge