Last year, Buziraguhindwa was one of our favorite coffee. It is with great pleasure that we can work along this cooperative again, and talk a little bit about why it is even better.
An usual two steps drying phase was used for our 2016 lot, with a pre-drying under shade, but most of the drying was made under plain sun. But more Specialty Coffee goes through innovations, and more we discover new things as this one : By extending and doing a more homogeneous drying, the shelf life and quality can be widely improved. As roasters, this matters since we can keep this coffee beautifully tasty for a longer period of time without seeing it fading too quickly. By doing so, they are also minimising the risk of over/under drying issues that can happen.
Buziraguhindwa, Kayanza, Burundi
Coffee Processing Company C.P.C. - Buziraguhindwa Washing Station
PICKING & CARRYING
Cherries come from an average of 600 smallholders, sold to the cooperative. Farmers have to hand sort their production for unripes, overripes and floaters at the mill, defective cherries will be given back to the farmers, which they can sell to the local coffee market.
A McKinnon 3-disc pulper is used to separate the skin and pulpe from the bean, leaving the mucilage. The machine does a first split between 3 grades, each will be processed separately.
Still wet and sticky from the pulping machine, the beans are left to dry-ferment for 12 hours in concret tanks going through a wide range of reactions with the goal of removing the mucilage.
As most good stations in Africa, the coffee will be washed and graded into washing channels, making multiple lots based on density that are going to be sold separately. Generally speaking, higher the density and more value is given to a lot. By raking the beans in water, they remove the remaining mucilage made loose by the previous fermentation.
WET-FERMENTATION - SOAKING
Denser lots as this one are being additionally soaked, by leaving the beans under water for a certain amount of time. As opposite to the first (dry-)fermentation, different reactions are now taking place with the idea to give a brighter, clearer acidity. Our lot has been soaked for around 15 hours.
Coffees as parchment are dried under shade the whole time, while workers are sorting out defects. By using shade all the way to the very end, they are now aiming at extending and controlling the drying, because it shows good result at increasing the shelf-life of the green coffee.