Station / Hill: Gatukuza
Origin / Origine: Burundi
Region: Gashikanwa commune, Northern Ngozi.
Procédé / Process: Lavé/washed
Source d'eau / Water source: Rivière Kagarura River
Notes: fruits à noyaux, miel de tilleul, chocolat au lait / stone fruit, wildflower honey, milk chocolate
The Story of Therence & The Long Miles Coffee Project...
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 neighbouring hills deliver the cherries to Gatukuza washing station.
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 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. 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.