Регіон: Ngozi & Kayanza
Станція митої обробки: Various
Різновид: Red Bourbon
Обробка: Fully washed
Висота вирощування: 1,600 to 1,900 meters above sea level
Період збору врожаю: March – July
Фермер: 2,685+ smallholder farmers working with Greenco Coffee
Виробник: Farmers working with Sucafina Burundi
Named for an iconic animal native to Burundi, our Turaco blend is sourced directly from either Bugestal or Greenco. Its consistent cup profile, 84 SCA cup score and excellent sustainability credentials present an excellent value.
Our vertically integrated sourcing chain makes this coffee’s journey as efficient as the proverbial bird flies. Our focus on whole-harvest sourcing mean sustainable producer resilience and roaster success. Expect a consistent, quality product at accessible prices.
Most coffee trees in Burundi are Red Bourbon for reasons of quality. Because of the increasingly small size of coffee plantings, aging rootstock is a very big issue in Burundi. Many farmers have trees that are over 50 years old, but with small plots to farm, it is difficult to justify taking trees entirely out of production for the 3-4 years it will take new plantings to begin to yield. In order to encourage farmers to renovate their plantings, Greenco & Bugestal purchase seeds from the Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Burundi (ISABU), establishes nurseries and sells the seedlings to farmers at or below cost.
Despite the ubiquity of coffee growing in Burundi, each smallholder producers a relatively small harvest. The average smallholder has approximately 250 trees, normally in their backyards. Each tree yields an average of 1.5 kilos of cherry so the average producer sells about 200-300 kilos of cherry annually.
HARVEST & POST-HARVEST
During the harvest season, all coffee is selectively hand-picked. Most families only have 200 to 250 trees, and harvesting is done almost entirely by the family. Greenco & Bugestal know that even small distances can be time consuming and expensive to travel for smallholder farmers, and they know that receiving cherry immediately after harvest is crucial to quality. Therefore, smallholders can bring their cherries either directly to a washing station or to one of the 12 collection sites situated throughout growing areas. Farmers are paid the same for their quality cherry regardless of where they bring their cherries. In this way, farmers are not disadvantaged due to their location and Greenco & Bugestal bear the cost of transport to stations.
Quality assurance begins as soon as farmers deliver their cherry. Cherries are wet processed under constant supervision. The pulping, fermentation time, washing, grading in the channels and a final soaking is closely monitored. All cherry is floated in small buckets as a first step to check quality. Greenco & Bugestal still purchase floaters (damaged, underripe, etc) but immediately separate the two qualities and only markets floaters as B-quality cherry. After floating, the higher quality cherry is sorted again by hand to remove all damaged, underripe and overripe cherries.
After sorting, cherry is pulped within 6 hours of delivery. The machine can process up to 3 tons of cherries per hour. During pulping, cherry is separated into high- and low-grade by density on a Mackinon 3-disc pulper outfitted with an additional separation disk. The coffee is then fermented in water from a nearby stream for 10-12 hours, depending on ambient temperature. A small sign on the fermentation tank keeps track of each lot. The sign mentions the washing station name, date of cherry purchase, grade of the bean and the time when fermentation began. Trained agronomists check the beans by hand regularly to ensure fermentation is halted at the perfect time. The station workers trample the parchment for 30 minutes in the fermentation tank. This trampling process helps to remove mucilage on the fermented parchment. After this, the parchment is given fresh water to move it into the washing-grading canal, where it is washed.
After fermentation is completed, coffee is run through washing and grading canals. As the beans flow through, wooden bars that are laid across the canal prevent beans of specific densities from passing through. These bars are spaced across the channel. While the first blockade stops the most-dense beans, the next is arranged to stop the second most-dense beans and so on. In total, the channel separates beans into seven grades according to density. After washing, this parchment is poured onto wooden trays or nylon bags and carried to the drying tables, each in its separate quality group. Each tray and nylon bag of parchment keeps its traceability tag with all info.
The beans are then transported to the drying tables where they will dry slowly for 2-3 weeks. Pickers go over the drying beans for damaged or defective beans that may have been missed in previous quality checks. Usually, each table holds 800kg of parchment. In the peak of the season, the maximum load for a table is 1000kg. Each table has a traceability tag with the lot info. The parchment is left to dry from sunrise to sunset and is covered with a sheet during the evening or when it rains. During this time, parchment is turned regularly. The moisture level is carefully monitored and any parchment with visual defects is removed.
Quality Control at Bugestal
Once dry, the parchment coffee is then bagged and taken to the warehouse. Bugestal’s team of expert cuppers assess every lot (which is 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 glow — usually an indication of a defect — are removed.
The mill produces an average of 300 containers of 320 bags per year. Budeca is located in Burundi’s new capital city, Gitega, where the population is 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 first employers in the region during the coffee harvest season. This has an incalculable impact on a country like Burundi – where unemployment rates are above 50% – especially in rural areas and among young people.