Burundi is a country that continues to face immense social and political difficulties. One of the challenges for the coffee sector is the government’s involvement as an owner and operator of the washing stations. This makes visibility and transparency very questionable. Despite this there are a few privately owned washing stations that are working hard to improve the quality.
Muyinga is not a well-known region in Burundi. It is constantly overshadowed by its neighbour Kayanza. However, the cup quality is very similar to Kayanza featuring complex florals, intense sweetness and a delicate but refined body. Burundi is a very small country so the districts don’t vary a great deal in climate and cup profile to the extent we see in countries like Colombia. Likewise, the geographical distances are quite small.
Murago is a small washing station located in the province of Muyinga in the North Eastern corner of the country. It was bought back from the government in 2012 by the all-female owned Kalico Cooperative. Murago favour a single fermentation method using 9 different fermentation tanks to keep the lots separate until they are dried and cupped for quality. The lower scoring lots are blended for commercial coffee, with the best lots remaining separate for sale as microlots. Our lot comes from the peak of the harvest and is amongst the highest scoring lots from this station in 2016.
Murago have a comprehensive policy in place for the management of their 5 hectare farm with respect to fertilizers and sprays. With a preference for natural products they return all the coffee cherries to the trees as an organic fertilizer and use sprays in limited amounts, only when absolutely necessary.