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Farm: Kibingo washing station (Small lot farmers)

Origin: Kayanza, Burundi

Altitude: 1700- 1900m

Process: Dry Natural - Cima yeast inoculation

Varietal: Red Bourbon

Notes: Dark chocolate, Sweet tea, mangosteen, yuzu

Last year we had almost forgot our position regarding this coffee! AHHHH! Last year we also had the ORO yeast innoculated version but, we decided to change it up and let everyone try the CIMA yeast version. LOVELY floral, bittersweet dark chocolate notes on this one that open up into super beautiful aromatic notes of mangosteen and a kind of citrus-y sweet yuzu-esque kind of thing. Hard to describe but it's so cool. We love this one.

Be wild, try it out! ENJOY!

KIBINGO washing station

The Kibingo washing station is in the commune of Kayanza in northern Burundi. The station itself sits 1,893 meters above sea level. The altitude of the farms in the neighboring hills that supply the washing station varies from 1,700 to 1,900 meters above sea level.  

Kibingo serves 3,515 registered coffee growers, spread over 18 hills in the area. All producers registered at a Greenco washing station are organized in groups of 30 people, headed by a farm leader. This leader acts as a spokesman to facilitate communication and organization with the washing station. 

The washing station is equipped with 10 fermentation tanks, 2 soaking tanks and a drying field with 4 pre-drying tables and 165 drying tables. Kibingo can process 750,000 kg of cherry per day. 

At the washing station, farmers can obtain organic fertilizer from composted coffee pulp. To promote farm renovation, producers can get low-cost, subsidized coffee seedlings at the washing station. Each station has its own nursery for this purpose. 

The washing station participates in a number of farmer outreach and support projects including a livestock rearing project and a range of Farmer Hub projects centered on strengthening cooperatives and improving yields.

Most coffee trees in Burundi are Red Bourbon. 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 to 4 years it will take new plantings to begin to yield. In order to encourage farmers to renovate their plantings, Greenco purchases 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 produces 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 to 300 kilos of cherry annually. 

Quality assurance begins as soon as farmers deliver their cherry. All cherry is floated in small buckets as a first step to check quality. After floating, the higher quality cherry is sorted again by hand to remove all damaged, underripe and overripe cherries.   

Following sorting, the beans are transported directly to the drying tables where they will dry slowly for 3 to 4 weeks. Cherry is laid out in a single layer. Pickers go over the drying beans for damaged or defective beans that may have been missed in previous quality checks. The washing station is very strict about allowing only the highest quality cherry to complete the drying process.