Burundi Ngozi Gatakuza #13

The number 13 here at Vournas Coffee Trading has always been a lucky one, and with this in mind our Burundi Ngozi Gatakuza #13 is no exception. Nearly 1300 small farm holders from the Gashikanwa Commune in the Ngozi Province produce this coffee that is named for the local Gatukuza Wash Station. The number 13 refers to the specific lot number, rated the best of the best from this year’s harvest of handpicked Red Bourbon.

Of the many coffees that we’ve offered over the years, our Burundi Ngozi is the very first Burundi coffee that’s made its way to our lineup. All the credit goes to the producers and mill operators for producing an exceptionally complex cup that we couldn’t resist! The Ngozi cup presents excellent depth, and overall complexity; it has a nice, syrupy body, notes of green apple, caramel, vanilla, raspberry, plum, and a touch of mulling spice.

As far as processing goes, Burundi Ngozi Gatakuza #13 cherries are double fermented (similar to a ‘Kenyan Process’) before being dried on raised beds. The Gatakuza wash station specifies that pulped cherries be twice soaked for 12-18 hours in fermentation tanks with additional rinsing and a 12-18 hour drying stage in between—this distinction is essentially equal to the double fermentation Kenyan Process. A water channel removes less dense “floaters” from quality beans through a bean density separation. Just as in Kenyan production, quality Gatakuza beans that advance to the final stage of soaking reportedly experience an improvement in fatty acid and amino structures, which in turn lends itself to added cup complexity.

After the wash process is completed the beans are then sun-dried on raised beds under strict supervision by the Gatakuza staff and 10-year veteran manager, Hermes Nyonkuru; this process lasts approximately 15-20 days until the ideal moisture is achieved for transport and final dry milling.

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.

The town of Ngozi where the Gatakuza wet mill is located is a market centre that serves farmers of the surrounding agricultural areas. Those who raise cattle, coffee, tea, bananas, cassava, potatoes, beans and corn utilize Ngozi and its trade routes to support their economy and local commerce.

Cupping Notes: Green Apple, Caramel, Vanilla, Raspberry, Plum, Mulling Spice, Syrupy Body.
Producer: Small Farm Holders
Region: Ngozi
Variety: Red Bourbon
Processing: Washed & Sun Dried
Altitude: 5,700 – 5,900 ft (1750 - 1800m)
Coffee Grading: 15/16 Screen
Harvest: April – June