Burundi Masha Washing Station
Cup Characteristics: The Bourbon variety lends itself to deep and rich chocolate toned coffees. Flavors of Meyer lemon, butterscotch, baker's chocolate and a touch of spice. Tannic and smooth on the palate, and acetic like rice wine vinegar. Starts succulent and mouth filling but ends dry.
$14.99 per pound
This is our first time offering coffee from the Masha Washing Station, but regular Burundi coffee buyers will be familiar with Kayanza Province from which it hails. Built in 1989, the washing station sits at 1672 meters above sea level and processes the coffee cherry of a little over 2100 smallholder farms in the area. The majority of coffee is grown by subsistance farmers, who grow food crops for their own supply as well as some cash crops (like coffee), not on larger factory farms or plantations, as is the norm in other countries. Coffee, once picked, is rushed to the local washing station for processing. The traditional processing method involves pulping the coffee and "dry fermenting" it up to twelve hours, at which point it gets washed in clean mountain water for another 12-24 hours. The beans are then soaked for an additional 12-18 hours before being dried in parchment on raised beds. The Masha Washing Station has 170 drying beds and is capable of processing 750 metric tons of coffee a year.
The first Cup of Excellence Competition for Burundi took place in 2012, where coffee from this washing station took 13th place. In 2014, coffee lots from Masha won 8th and 17th place, and in 2017 a washed bourbon (like this coffee) won 7th place.
The popularity of specialty coffee production has risen in Burundi in recent years, as it earns higher premiums for farmer members of washing stations. Coffee marketing legislation enacted in 2008 allows for direct sales contracts between Burundian producers and international coffee buyers, roasters and importers (exportation and marketing were previously controlled by the government). This legislation also permits the payment of a quality premium to those responsible for producing "specialty" coffee, which follows a similar model in Rwanda where coffee quality has seen major improvement in recent years.
- Washing Station:Masha
- Province: Kayanza
- Commune: Gatara
- Altitude: 1672 Meters above sea level
- Coffee variety: Bourbon
- Processing: Washed