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truly one of a kind


  • One of a kind.

    Burundi is divided by a narrow line of tall mountains that separate the Nile and Congo River basins.  Along this range 800,000 coffee farmers produce a coffee like no other in the world. Burundi a small country - the size of Maryland - and most of these farms are small too – with an average of 200 coffee trees or less. Still over 90% of the country’s GDP is produced by these backyard gardens. Coffee is a vital part of Burundi, and this vitality shines through in the cup in the form of complex, rare and balanced flavor. This is when Burundi is at its best. However, trees on many farms are weak, thus producing crop cycles (and cups) that can be wildly erratic. Landlocked and lacking infrastructure has been the least of concerns in Burundi, where civil war formally ended in 2003, leaving it one of the five poorest countries in the world

    Yet from this mottled milieu some coffees still emerge as extraordinary. The story of Burundi is how a hundred struggles come together to produce this singular cup of coffee: each effort is as remarkable as the coffee that makes it all worth the while, and meeting the people who can make it happen year over year is worth the time it takes to get there.

  • Buhorwa Washing Station

    When Burundi opened up the coffee sector to private investment the government put all of their nearly 200 washing stations on the market. The Sogestals - regional cooperatives who manage these washing stations - purchased several for themselves. One of these is Buhorwa, one of the country's highest altitude washing stations, and the first community outside of Uganda to work with Crop to Cup back in 2009. 

    Like many other sought-after coffee growing regions in Burundi, competition for volume is fierce, so washing stations, Sogestals and other buyers have had to launch collection centers if farmers who do not live so close to the station and who may otherwise be enticed to sell to middlemen who come to them but who are not focused on quality and who do not offer post-season premiums.  For Buhorwa Washing Station and its 3 cherry collection centers, this not only ensures adequate volume to stay in business, but also allows for better separation of lots (hills/valleys) based on quality and cup score.  Crop to Cup is lucky to have such a strong partner in place - Sogestal Kayanza - to assist in the tedious process of collection, separation, cupping, milling and farmer bonus payment. 

    Buhorwa Washing Station Photos

  • Burundi Karehe Washing Station

    The Kahere Washing station is in Burundi’s central Karuzi Province, in a Commune called Mutumbu. Mutumbu sprawls the western slopes of the Ruvubu National Forest - the Kahere Washing station collects coffee from these rich river-cut slopes.

    More specifically, the Kahere Washing station collects from members only – and in turn is a member of one of Burundi’s leading chapters for International Women in Coffee (IWCA).

    When asked why they wanted to participate in IWCA, the representative from Kahere responded that the goal is to ‘have women sharing the benefit from coffee’, while ‘getting their husbands more interested in working for quality’. It’s a good mission, and one that Crop to cup is joining behind established leaders like BD Imports. Still, members of Kahere earned an 80c premium for their coffee this year – something to show their husbands, and their coffee was worth it.

    Buhorwa Washing Station Photos

  • Kiryama Washing Station

    It’s no secret – Kiryama produces some of Burundi’s best coffees. Elite roasters like Mad Cap, Sightglass and Five Senses discovered this years ago while we at Crop to Cup remained solely focused on the Buhorwa station ever since we first visited in 2009. Still, when long-time trading partner Sogestal Kayanza sneaks an incredible lot onto your cupping table you have to wake up and smell the coffee. Preferably this coffee please!

    The landscape around the Ruvubu National Forest, access to fresh water and proximity to the capital all contribute to this community’s success. But none of these factors matter nearly as much as the support they have received all along the supply-chain. We are glad to get started with Kiryama and play our part.

  • Kiryama Washing Station

    The Commune of Rango runs down the eastern edge of Burundi’s Kibira National Park, spanning the Congo-Nile Divide. This range includes dense forest as well as rolling foothills with river-rich slopes.

    As a part of the Kayanza Province, Kinyovu washing stations in Rango is managed by SOGESTAL Kayanza. 2015 was Crop to Cup’s seventh year buying from Sogestal Kayanza, but our first year buying from this Kinyovu. This was one of our favorite coffees coming out of Burundi this year and we are excited to get a relationship going with these farmers.

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Burundi Karehe Washing Station - NJ -

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