Burundi Inzovu Natural RFA
Burundi has long been overlooked in comparison to its neighboring East African specialty coffee producing power houses. However, it is one of the highlights of the annual coffee calendar for us. The country's coffee is almost entirely produced by smallholder farms, and much of this small-scale production is of exceptional quality. Burundi, every year, is increasingly putting itself on the specialty coffee map.
This naturally processed Burundi is named "Inzovu" after the Kirundi word for the wise elephant. This was our importers (Sucafina) smart solution to bring Rain Forest Alliance Certigied Natural lots to us, since there are only a small quantity of Natural RFA lots per year at washing stations through out Burundi.
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.
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, producing about 200-300 kilos of cherry per year. Since harvests are so small, most are done entirely by each family of smallholders.
After harvests are brought to collection sites, or wash stations, quality assurance begins- after any damaged or unripened cherries are removed, beans are transported to drying tables where they slowly dry for 3-4 weeks, and then are sorted again to remove any missed damaged cherries. Only the highest quality cherries will complete the drying process.
RFA stands for Rainforest Alliance. This certification emphasizes climate-smart agriculture. RFA farms have at least 40% of land covered in canopy, significant species diversity, and a system of natural vegetation buffers between agriculture land and bodies of water. These farms also use organic fertilizers.
Grower: Cooperative Farmers
Variety: Red Bourbon
Elevation: 1,500+ masl
Harvest months: March-July
Certifications- Rainforest Alliance
Tasting Notes: Bright, Cantaloupe, Cherry, Grape