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Burundi Nemba - Washed


Producer: Nemba CWS (Coffee Washing Station)
Region: Kayanza
MASL: 1818
Process: Washed
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Roasting Profile:  Filter, Aeropress, French Press

The 2016 harvest was our first year importing directly from Burundi. We partnered with a new export partner who shares similar social values as ourselves. The washing stations are privately owned by our exporters, and employ local managers to manage the stations throughout the year, and employ seasonal workers from the surrounding area through the harvest season.

Each washing station employs 3 to 5 permanent workers and is run by a manager who is also the agronomist who provides farming advice to the local communities. The average pay for the regular workers is 300,000 Burundian Francs per month. This is double the pay of other competing washing stations in the area, and managers are provided housing with electricity, and a motor vehicle.

The washing station encourages producers to pick and deliver only the ripest cherries. Prior to coffee being delivered to the mill, the washing station has a pre-delivery area where producers float, hand sort, and float again, their cherry before delivery to the mill. Cherry is weighed, and producers receive a payment equivalent to the local market rate. They are then paid a quality premium at the end of the season. Their total price per kilo of cherry paid was an average of 490 Burundian Francs (BIF), this being 27% more than the market price of 360 BIF/kg for the 2016 season. In addition to this, each producer was paid a 20 BIF/kg bonus prior to Christmas.

Nemba was built in 1991. It purchases cherry from 3171 farmers off 435 acres of land surrounding the washing station and has a maximum production capacity of 1200 MT of cherry per year. Nemba has placed in several Cup of Excellence competitions, in 2013 it placed 2nd, in 2014 placed 11th and in 2015 placed 1st winning the overall competition.

After floating and hand sorting, coffee is delivered to the mill where it is then passed through the pulper removing all skin and mucilage. Coffee is then run through a serpentine to remove any additional floaters where it is then fermented for 12 hours before being laid out to dry. The coffee is constantly stirred throughout the day to ensure even drying, and it is covered at night to preserve heat in order to ensure drying occurs as evenly as possible.