Kayanza is a province in the Northwest of Burundi, and, for Counter Culture, has always had the best coffees we have tasted from the country. This area is not only known for coffee, but also know for its tea production.
Most farmers are small and ranging around 1-2 hectares. Not much shade exists now, mainly just eucalyptus. Most farmers are growing fruits and vegetables, notably potatoes. Lots of tea is being grown in the area as well, especially around Buziraguhindwa.
Burundi also suffered from terrible civil war in the 90s alongside Rwanda. The recovery in Burundi has taken longer, however. When we first traveled to Burundi in 2007, there was still violence happening in different parts of the country, and Burundi was considered a very dangerous place to travel.
In the coffee sector, because of the privatizing the coffee market and the work of the USAID project in Burundi, the coffee market has radically changed over the last 5 years. New washing stations are being built by private owners, old government washing stations have been sold, cooperative are being established (like Kazoza NIkawa), and farmers today can receive premiums for the coffee that they sell - where in the past this was not possible. The major obstacle from Burundi like many African coffee producing countries is logistics.
Burundi is also land-locked, so it relies on the port of Dar-es-salaam in Tanzania and Mombasa which are both regularly backed up, delaying the shipments of coffee around the world which causes huge losses in coffee quality. Counter Culture knows this is the major issue for these coffees and has worked extraordinarily hard make sure the logistics are perfect for this coffee to arrive in pristine shape.
Germaine Simbayobewe is the president of the cooperative. We met Germaine in 2010, when we were actively involved in the coffee at the Bwayi washing station.
Variety: Bourbon, Mbirizi, and Jackson Types
Elevation: 1,781 meters
Process: Ecopulped; 2-24 hour post-fermentation soak in clean water
Drying: Raised beds, 14 -16 days
Harvest Time: April 2013- July 2013