St Martins - Burundi
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The smallholders at the Kirema washing station in the Kayanza region of Burundi
Notes of Blackberry, Cranberry and Chocolate
SCA Score - 83.5
Kirema washing station follows a model similar to many – whilst some farmers can bring their coffee directly to the washing station, many rely on regional collection centres, placed to enable quick access to fresh coffee and then transport it to the washing station within a set time. Infrastructure plays a strong role in coffee quality in this set up, as does admin. Maintaining lot separation and traceability to ensure correct payment happily lends itself to microlot production and Kirema has excelled at that too.
In an area with a reputation for excellence, Kirema has placed in Cup of Excellence previously, in 2019 gaining a place in the top ten. Eight of those top 10 were from Kayanza, the region Kirema is found in.
Mibirizi is likely the oldest varietal to Burundi and Rwanda (according to World Coffee Research), though a lot of it’s origin story is less than clear. Recent genetic tests show it related to the Bourbon-Typica group, though naturalization and some breeding have occurred that may have led to slight variations throughout the two countries farms.
Similarly to Rwanda and Kenya, coffee in Burundi is fully washed; the beans are washed, pulped and rested, before a wet fermentation, wash and soak, with drying on raised beds. Tarpaulins rest nearby wrapped around sticks ready to unfurl at the start of rain!