Strawberry, Cherry, Red Currant
- Origin Burundi
- Region Kayanza
- Drying Station Nemba
- Variety Red Bourbon
- Processing Natural
- Elevation 1700 m
The Nemba washing and drying station lies in the northern province of Kayanza. It is managed and overseen by an agronomist who oversees the implementation of good agricultural practice and farmer education. He collaborates with the producers to ensure they have access to the necessary farming tools. The agronomist also helps farmers determine and implement the practices best suited to the specific growing conditions of their farming plots.
There are over 3,000 smallholders living around Kayanza, each with an average of 150 coffee trees. They are all located around 1,700 metres above sea level, near the Kibila forest. Nemba uses a monitoring system to ensure traceability all along the production and processing chain. Every lot they process is separated by station, day and quality.
During the harvest season, coffee cherry is selectively hand-picked by the smallholder families. Quality assurance begins as soon as farmers deliver their cherry. All cherry is floated in small buckets as a first step to check the quality. Damaged or under ripe fruits (‘floaters’) are separated and go into B-quality lots. The higher quality cherry is sorted again by hand to detect other potential defects.
After sorting, the beans go to the drying tables where they will dry slowly for 3-4 weeks. Cherry is laid out in a single layer and is covered with tarps during periods of rain, the hottest part of the day and at night. On the table, the beans are dried to 11.5% moisture content. During the entire drying process pickers continue to inspect and remove damaged or defective beans that may have been missed in the previous checks.
Once dry, the ‘parchment coffee’ is then bagged and taken to the warehouse. Our importer’s team of expert cuppers assess every lot at the lab. The traceability of the station, day and quality is maintained throughout the entire process. Before shipment, coffee is sent to Budeca, Burundi’s largest dry mill. The coffee is milled and then hand sorted by a team of hand-pickers who look closely at every single bean to ensure zero defects. It takes a team of two hand-pickers a full day to look over a single bag. UV lighting is also used on the beans and any beans that glows—usually an indication of a defect—is removed.