Coffee was introduced to Burundi in the 1930s during the time of the Belgian colonial government. During this time, coffee growing became mandatory and in later years coffee became an important part of Burundi’s economy. Today, over 700,000 families are involved in growing coffee, typically on small lots of 50 to 250 trees. Farmers usually bring their coffee to a wet mill, which in turn are organised into groups called sogestal. The sogestal system was government controlled and worked reasonably well for producing large volumes of washed coffee but was not as effective in dealing with small volume, specialty lots nor as a mechanism for attracting higher prices for farmers.
Rimiro is the smallest hill in the commune of Ruhororo. It is also the location of a coffee washing station servicing over 1,500 local producers. There are over 3 soaking tanks, 12 fermentation tanks, 230 drying tables, 3 selection tables and 6 floatation tanks on site, allowing Rimiro to purchase over 1,300 metric tonnes of cherry each season. This purchase rate is higher than the national average, allowing farmers to sell more of their cherries without having to look for alternate channels. Rimiro also participates in a number of farmer outreach and support projects including agricultural assistance programs for livestock, providing fertiliser for crops and distributing coffee trees.
This coffee was hand sorted twice at Rimiro then dried slowly on raised beds for 3 to 4 weeks. After drying, they were milled and hand sorted again, including the use of UV lighting, to remove defects. In the cup we found an almost delicate complexity with cocoa, black tea notes and white grape juice.
White Grape Juice
SUGGESTED RECIPE: 22g, in 38g, out 33sec
REGION: Ngozi, Northern Burundi
VARIETAL: Red Bourbon
ELEVATION: 1,650 masl
PROCESS: hand-picked, natural process