||Burundi Buziraguhindwa Kayanza Washed Bourbon 2017
||#SSSSS Limited Editions 2017
Number 2 of 12, February 2017, in the #SSSSS 2017 - Steve's Super Secret Stash Subscription. A limited availability series of roasted coffee beans.
This month it's: Burundi Buziraguhindwa Kayanza Washed Bourbon 2017
Merry (almost) February everybody!
I don't know about you but the first month of 2017 has flown past me at an incredible pace! But, that could be because I've been on a whopper buying trip to El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica ???????? ???????? ???????? ???????? ???? what do you mean you hadn't noticed?! How rude, for that you have to look at a few of my holiday, err...work trip snaps! ????
Jealous? You should be ????
But anyway I didn't just invade your inbox this evening to talk to you about what I've been doing during the month of January (although that does sound like a pretty awesome newsletter doesn't it?!) I'm here to let you know that the second #SSSSS coffee of 2017 is now on it's way to you! Green beans were made brown today and little red packages of joy are now in the hands of Royal Mail zooming in your direction ????
Before I tell you about the coffee that I've chosen for this month I'd just like to take a moment to say a big big big THANK YOU for all the conversations I've had over the past few weeks about last month's Finca La Lagunita ?? I've been wowed by the reception the coffee received and it makes me so very happy that I got to share it with you all. When I first thought of #SSSSS it was because I wanted to share these tiny lots of coffee with people that wanted to try something rare and delicious, the smile on my face was bigger than any emoji can accurately convey when I heard what you thought of coffee #1 ???????????? so, thank you, I really appreciate all your feedback and love hearing what you think, please keep talking to me????????
Onwards, to Burundi! ????????????????????????
This coffee comes from the Buziraguhindwa Washing Station where farmers who farm within a close enough distance travel there by foot with their cherry to deliver it for processing, or if they're from further afield utilise 1 of the washing station's collection points (more on these later). This lot is a collection of deliveries from all these farmers. The producers separate the coffees both by area and date of picking until it's cupped and approved, they also float and handsort cherries for all premium lots before it is pulped, fermented soaked and dried on raised beds.
Buziraguhindwa is one out of two washing stations owned by the producer Salum Ramadhan, an extremely detail oriented man who spends a lot of time training his local staff and has a great loyal workforce. Not content with just working in coffee he also runs a transport business that manages domestic coffee logistics, busy fella!
Salum Ramadhan and some of his workforce.
Buzuraguhindwa is a communal station that was founded in 2010 and sits at an altitude of 2,000 metres above sea level in Kayanza in northern Burundi. Salum mainly produces fully washed coffees but is also experimenting with naturals, ooh boy I hope I can get my hands on some of those in the future! The coffees are basically all selected daily lots, named by the local area or Collin (hill) where the cherries are purchased. Farms in Burundi is small, often below one hectare each with only a few hundred trees. This means that a daily lot of e.g. 25 bags of greens can consist of coffee from a few hundred growers.
He is systematically separating the coffees based on where they are grown, and by the date of processing. They generally collect cherries from a range of areas with different altitudes, growing conditions etc, and the flavor range is pretty wide spread according to that. The coffees named Buziraguhindwa = coffees from the surroundings of the washing station. Coffees with names like Nkonge and Muruta are coffees grown in other areas, but still processed at Buziraguhindwa.
The main harvest will normally start very slowly in March, peaking around May (depending on altitude and weather) and ends in July. The family members on the small farms are working the land, picking the coffee cherries themselves in the afternoon or on Saturdays. They then either deliver the cherries to Buziraguhindwa washing station by foot or bicycle, or to the closest collection points where Salum will have his site collector travel to collect the coffee.
These sites are strategically placed in remote areas to buy cherries and help those remote farmers get their produce to the mill, the farmers are free to deliver their cherries to anyone offering the highest price and the competition in this area can be hard but Salum and his collectors communicate with the local farmers on selective picking and sorting to help them get the best price for their hard work. To attract farmers with the best qualities they are constantly paying premiums above the market prices to improve the product.
Bringing in cherries from the different collection points is expensive as the cost of transport in Burundi is high, but massively worth it as it's super awesome for the quality of coffee that Buziraguhindwa produces.
The washing station has strict routines for cherry reception to ensure that quality stays where it's supposed to, the coffees are sorted by the farmers at the receiving stations on raised tables, and they even have a small flotation tank system for each farmer at delivery. They also have workers dedicated to sort out unripe and overripe coffees for their special preparation of micro lots.
The preproduction flotation process is to first put the cherries in water tanks, they will then skim off the floaters and give it back to the farmer before the coffees are hand sorted to separate out unripe/half-ripe.
The elevation at the washing station is mighty high, and the climate is cool, meaning it’s easier to control the fermentation time. The traditional fermentation and washing process in Burundi is a lengthy procedure with double fermentation (dry and wet fermentation) before soaking. The double fermentation is a labor intensive process that also requires a lot of water, and creates more waste water. They changed the process to reduce water usage, labor, increase capacity and avoid over fermentation.
They generally do a 12 hour dry fermentation before it’s then graded in washing channels in to 3-4 grades based on density before 12-18 hours soaking time in clean water.
From there it goes to pre-drying under shade with hand picking of wet parchment before entering the elevated and sun exposed drying tables. Drying normally takes 15–20 days depending on the climate and rainfall. It’s not uncommon for it to randomly rain during the drying, they have to be quick to cover up the parchment when they see the clouds are building up! Just like Wimbledon...
And now the part you've all been waiting for...
In the cup I think you’ll find a poached pear! Straight away there’s the taste of pear and an acidity that’s a mixture of pear and white wine. Alongside this there’s the sweetness of Mirabelle plum, a little savoury shoulder and a floral finish.
Region: Northern Burundi
Nearest City: Kayanza
Farm: Independent Smallholders
Washing Station: Buziraguhindwa
Altitude: 2,000 m.a.s.l.
Processing Method: Fully Washed
And that's it folks! ???? There you have it, tasty and delicious coffee from Burundi Buziraguhindwa heading your way! ???????????? I hope you thoroughly enjoy it when it arrives and please be sure to let me know what you think of it via the wonders of social media (links at the bottom of this email, do you like my new email software by the way? I think it's pretty swanky!)
So long, and thanks for all the fish ????????????
"Quick Look" Guide:
Pear, white wine, Mirabelle plum
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