Burundi was once a Belgian colony, and historically coffee was a cash crop, with most exports going directly to Europe or to other Colonised African countries.
In fact, farmers were forced to include coffee trees on their land, receiving poor income and no recognition for their work. Following independence in 1960s, the coffee sector was privatised, but the coffee had left a bad taste with the farmers and fell out of favour.
The country was wrecked by a civil war up until the 1990s, with shocking devastation of the country’s economy, and coffee slowly emerged as a possible means to recover the farming sector. Inspired by neighbouring Rwanda’s success rebuilding through coffee, Burundi’s coffee industry beginning in the early 2000s saw an increase in investment, and a somewhat healthy balance of both private and state-run coffee companies creating more opportunity and stability, which has helped Burundi establish itself as an emerging African coffee-growing country, despite its small size and tumultuous history.
Nyagishiru CWS is located near the Ruvubu river, Buhinyuza commune (Muyinga Province) in the North East of Burundi. This washing station has 200 raised beds and uses a Mackinnon pulper, and works with 789 local smallholder farmers. It has four fermentation tanks and two soaking/pre-floating tanks.
The CWS is located on the hill of Nyagishiru and collects cherries from 12 neighbouring hills. Matraco farms 7000 of its own trees on Nyagishiru hill. Matraco has contributed seedlings for their Farmers in order to replace old, aged coffee trees and provided funds for a school and health center construction in the Muyinga Province.
This specific lot went through the usual strict procedure they have placed at the CWS. Only the ripest and highest Brix-reading cherries are selected. They are then put through the floatation tanks to separate the sinkers from the floaters. Once 0 floaters are seen they are then taken to the African drying beds where they go through intensive hand picking and regular turning based on the temperature and environment feel. The average drying time for this specific lot was 31 days.
Super chocolatey, amazingly smooth with an exceptional body. Blackberry, black currant, molasses, and a long balanced finish.