Burundi - Mubuga Natural
Mubuga Washing Station is owned and operated by Sucafina's in-country partner, Bugestal. Bugestal serves farmers by providing great prices for delivered cherry and by ensuring training in good agricultural practices. Their investment can be seen in the quality of the coffees they bring to market.
Their Natural coffee is floral and sweet with an array of fruit notes including citrus and berries.
We roast this to a medium level and it's perfect for filter coffee, Aeropress, V60, clever coffee dripper and also in the batch brewers etc.
You can drink it as espresso, but it also works in a plunger, Moka pot (stovetop) and also through the Aeropress - it's such a flexible bean
- Village: Ngozi
- County: Burundi
- Zone: Ngozi
- Variety: Red Bourbon
- Altitude: 1500 masl
Importers Cup score: 86
Mubuga washing station is located 1,500+ meters above sea level. Farmers who deliver their cherry to the station farm an average of 250 trees on the surrounding hills. The station is owned and operated by one of our in-country partners, Bugestal.
Most coffee trees in Burundi are Red Bourbon. Because of the increasingly small size of coffee plantings, aging rootstock is a very big issue in Burundi. Many farmers have trees that are over 50 years old, but with small plots to farm, it is difficult to justify taking trees entirely out of production for the 3-4 years it will take new plantings to begin to yield. In order to encourage farmers to renovate their plantings, Bugestal purchases seeds from the Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Burundi (ISABU), establish nurseries and sells the seedlings to farmers at or below cost. At the washing station, farmers can also get organic fertilizer from the reconverted coffee pulp.
Despite the ubiquity of coffee growing in Burundi, each smallholder produces a relatively small harvest. The average smallholder has approximately 250 trees, normally in their backyards. Each tree yields an average of 1.5 kilos of cherry so the average producer sells about 200-300 kilos of cherry annually.
During the harvest season, all coffee is selectively hand-picked. Most families only have 200 to 250 trees, and harvesting is done almost entirely by the family.
Quality assurance begins as soon as farmers deliver their cherries. All cherry is floated in small buckets as a first step to check their quality. Bugestal still purchases floaters (damaged, underripe, etc) but immediately separates the two qualities and only markets floaters as B-quality cherry. After floating, the higher quality cherry is sorted again by hand to remove any damaged, underripe and overripe cherries.
After sorting, the cherry is then transported directly to the drying tables where they will dry slowly for 3-4 weeks. Cherry is laid out in a single layer. Pickers go over the drying cherry for damaged or defective cherry that may have been missed in previous quality checks. The station is very strict about allowing only the highest quality cherry to complete the drying process. Cherry is covered with tarps during periods of rain, the hottest part of the day and at night.
Once dry, the parchment coffee is then bagged and taken to the warehouse. Bugestal’s team of expert cuppers assess every lot (which is separated by station, day and quality) at the lab. The traceability of the station, day and quality is maintained throughout the entire process.
Before shipment, coffee is sent to Budeca, Burundi’s largest dry mill. The coffee is milled and then hand sorted by a team of hand-pickers who look closely at every single bean to ensure zero defects. It takes a team of two hand-pickers a full day to look over a single bag. UV lighting is also used on the beans and any beans that glow - usually, an indication of a defect is removed.