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Burundi Kayanza Kinyami Yeast Intenso

Origin Burundi /

Altitude 1612 m /

Crop Year 2019 /

Varietal Red Bourbon /

Product Code 6815

About Burundi Kayanza Kinyami Yeast Intenso

The beginning of coffee processing for Burundi is situated in the Kayanza province on the border of the Kayanza and Busiga communes. In 1952, the first coffee washing station in the country was built. Butegana, a name which means “to be trapped” because, quite a few years prior, Rwandan soldiers were trapped in the valley by the Burundian army. Due to the abundance of coffee plants in the region, the prince Baranyanka under the rule of King Mwambutsa had the station constructed and was done so in such a way that Butegana is shared between two hills with Shikankoni housing the buildings and Nkuba the drying tables. Due to the unfamiliarity of this “new technology”, the Prince decided to hand control and management of the station over to foreigners by the names of Bwana Reno, Dimon, Herekare, Nkoke and Gigi. The ways in which the coffee was processed in these times is very different to the methods practised today but it is fascinating to see how we’ve developed. Fermentation would take place over two days which is more than double what is practised today, parchment would spend two days on pre-drying tables which no longer happens, and a fire fueled machine would dry the beans but was abandoned due to the death of an employee at the station and eventually replaced by a diesel-run drying machine which dried the beans in one day.

The Oro yeast process has a lot of similarities with the Fully Washed one. The particularity of the Oro yeast process is the use of yeast in the fermentation tanks, which are airtight. For this process, the period of fermentation is also much longer (36 hours vs 12 hours for Fully Washed coffees). This yeast, which we buy from the French company Lalcafé, intensifies the flavour of the coffee beans, enhancing its character. We have been buying two different yeasts from Lalcafé for the past years (Cima and Intenso) and this year we also have started experimenting with the new Oro flavour, which we find exceptional and with a lot of potential.

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About Burundi

Coffee was introduced to Burundi by Catholic Monks from the small island of Reunion in the 1930’s. Most popular variety is Bourbon, however other varieties are grown including Blue Mountain. The crop is exclusively grown by smallholders, which are grouped into farmer associations called Sogestals.

Due to the age of the trees and the variance in rainfall, there is a huge amount of fluctuation in coffee production. On average the crop is around 20,000MT. All of the the trees are Arabica, with around 70% processed as fully washed. There was an attempt to introduce Robusta in Burundi by establishing a large plantation, however this was destroyed during the times of civil was and rebellion towards the end of the 20th century.