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Kinyovu, Burundi

Burundi Kinyovu“The Kinyovu Washing Station is located in the town of Rango, in the Kayanza Province of Burundi.

On average there are 3800 coffee producers contributing to Kinyovu, 1321 of which contribute directly to the station, and 2479 of which contribute to 34 different collection points.

Other crops in the area include: Banana, beans, sweet potatoes, cassava, and tea.


Deep in the heart of Africa is the tiny country of Burundi, and deep in Burundi is Café Imports (our coffee importer). They have been trekking to this tiny country south of Rwanda on Lake Tanganyika since 2006. Cafe Imports have logged multiple trips so far, and have spent about three months total on the ground. They have really enjoyed passing along their findings and experience: their many trips have not been without results. They have cupped coffees from more than 50 washing stations over the years, pinpointing stations with the best cupping coffees.

 

Their Burundi offerings are part of a Café Imports project where a quality premium is paid above the normal “market rate,” and this premium is paid directly back to the farmers. Burundi is just south of Rwanda but miles and miles away in the cup. The two countries share much: the same tribes, the same coffee varieties, and a similar history, but the cups are not even related. This is a case of terroir. While Rwandan coffees cup with lovely sugary and lemon citrus notes, the mountains of Burundi produce a deep fig and fruity coffee—almost a Malbec of a cup highlighted by a firm supporting acidity.

 

Coffee in Burundi is a logistics challenge—even for the best of us. It is a particularly poor country, tied with Congo for the lowest GDP in Africa. The tiny landlocked nation also shares the same tribal conflicts that Rwanda has experienced; unlike in Rwanda, however, they’ve never been reconciled. In spite of all this, the work and investment on the ground over the years has allowed our importer to consistently get the coffees we are proud of and have grown to love.

 

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