Our Burundi Kayanza Munkaze M500 is produced by 815 small farmers from the surrounding areas of Kayanza, the capital city of the Kayanza Province. M500 refers to the lot number, which is a fully washed, 100% Red Bourbon that is sun dried on raised beds for a period of 15-20 days. The cup has a fruity-vanilla aroma, and notes of raspberry, plum, vanilla and apple. For our cupping we roasted this Burundi Kayanza Munkaze M500 slightly lighter, providing balanced acidity and an overall great taste with a medium body.
The Munkaze wash station is independently operated by a subgroup of Kayanza growers using a cooperative format that supports local pride and uses a readily available network of transportation and distribution services. Munkaze wash station has multiple co-owners and managers, who provide an integral role in their community, not just in processing but also added values such as market access, agri-tech and key growing knowledge within the chain of production. One of the owners, Ephrem Sebatigita also provides educational support and distribution services to the Twaranyuzwe Coop, some of whom also provide coffee for the Munkaze wash station.
Kayanza Province is one of 18 different provinces in the nation of Burundi. The Kayanza Munkaze farms here are quite small, averaging just around one and a quarter acres apiece. Some farmers have 50-100 trees, but many others have more like 10 or 20; very few have enough space for several hundred trees. One factor for small farmers with less than one hundred coffee trees is the understandable reluctance to stump (or cut back) trees that may be suffering from a degenerative health condition. At such small numbers each tree is incredibly vital to overall volume. The soil on these Burundi Kayanza Munkaze M500 farms is mostly red clay that is also used to fashion building bricks for local structures and dwellings.
The nation of Burundi is located directly south of Rwanda and shares a majority of its eastern border with Tanzania. Coffee was first introduced here by the Belgians in the 1930s. For a country where approximately 90% of the population relies on farming for a living, coffee and tea have remained the top two respective cash crops for generations. Today there are roughly 600,000 individual coffee farmers, whose combined export volume accounts for 60% of overall export earnings.
The vast majority of Burundi’s coffee producers are small farm holders who manage an average of 200 trees apiece on single, 1-acre plots or smaller. These producers are responsible for growing and harvesting their own lot of cherries which are in turn sold to either privately-run or government owned wash stations called SOGESTALS.
In order to best serve Burundi’s coffee sector and oversee its sustainable development, InerCafé Burundi was founded in 2010 as a professional, non-profit association of stakeholders. Their board of directors is tasked with a number of essential duties including farm-to-market traceability, promotion, quality control, producer arbitrage and international partnering to name a few. To ensure equal representation, their 13 member board is staffed by professionals from each sector—wet milling, dry milling, exporting and roasting.
|Producer:||Small Farm Holders|
|Processing:||Washed & Sun Dried|
|Altitude:||5,577 - 6,561 ft 1700 - 2000m)|
|Harvest:||April - June|