What we taste - Apricot, Marmalade, Green Tea
*Please note that we roast our coffee on Tuesday and ship out orders on Wednesday
Region - Gashikanwa commune, Northern Ngozi
Variety - Bourbon
Process - Washed
Elevation - 1658 MASL
Importer - Osito
From the importer: The coffee you are tasting comes from a producing neighbor of Long Miles: Therence Nduwayezu. When you step into Therence’s office in the bustling centre of Ngozi town, you’ll find he’s not just a coffee producer. He’s a general trader and owns a fleet of vehicles that transport export goods between Burundi and neighboring Tanzania. 2019 marked the year of big changes for Therence and Gatukuza: It was the first year they produced day lots, as opposed to bulk lots that lacked delivery traceability. It was the first year they cupped through all the coffee they produced. These changes obviously paid off as it also happened to be the first year their fully washed coffee won first place at Burundi’s annual Cup Of Excellence competition!
Gatukuza washing station is named after the hill it’s built on. The word ‘Gatukuza’ comes from Kirundi, the local language spoken in Burundi, but has no distinct meaning or translation. For as long as people can remember, that’s what the hill has been called. Gatukuza washing station is nestled in the Gashikanwa commune, in the northern province of Ngozi. The people who call Gatukuza home grow almost everything they love to eat- bananas, potatoes, beans, maize, sweet potatoes, peas- wrapping the hill in every imaginable green. 600 farmers from 8 neighboring hills deliver the cherries to Gatukuza washing station. Therence and his team also mapped out the regions that are far from the washing station or don’t have access to any nearby washing station. That’s how they picked the 112 spots to create transit centers - cherry collection and quality check points set up on the coffee hills that shorten the distance farmers have to travel to deliver their cherries. More than 10,000 farmers from 9 communes delivered their cherries at these transit centers this season.
When the washing station first opened, there were 250 traditional African raised tables. There are now 500 drying tables scattered across the washing station with the plan to add 300 more. The washing station has two 8-disc McKinnons: 6 discs at the top, 2 at the bottom. This is the only machine that is used to process this coffee. Farmers will selectively hand pick and float their cherries at home before delivering them. The day’s bounty of cherries is carried by head or bicycle to reach the washing station where they are processed. There is one small pre-selection table and floating station where farmers will take their cherries when they reach the station and the quality of their cherries is checked again. For the fully-washed process, there are 2 cherry reception tanks. For the natural process, there are 9 dry fermentation tanks. Parchment is kept here for 8 hours overnight. In the morning, water is added and the parchment is footed to help remove mucilage. For wet fermentation, there are 9 tanks. Parchment is kept here for 8 hours, then moved to the grading channels. Parchment is soaked for 12 hours uncovered, taken to pre-drying tables (a covered area) and handpicked for 6 hours. It’s then taken to traditional African raised drying tables where it slowly dries for 14-21 days, depending on the rain. The farmer system is organized through a pre-registration before harvest season at the washing station, where farmers are given a unique code. Every time a farmer delivers, the washing station keeps a primary record of the amount and a carbon copy receipts is given to them. During farmers payments- which happened once in August this year- the farmers will bring their receipt to receive money for their cherries.
We hope that you get the chance to experience a Gatukuza coffee this season.