Burundi Kayanza Gatare
Historically Burundi has not been a coffee drinking nation. It also has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the poorest nations on earth, and has endured more than a decade of civil war (only having recently ended in 2005). Yet despite this, the country is discovering a way to rise above these circumstances by making a solid name for itself in the International coffee scene.
90% of the population rely on farming as their main source of income with coffee being by far their biggest export. Burundians have realised the great potential in coffee production, and with the freeing up of the coffee sector, Burundi has been able to build stronger ties to the international market. Producers are now more organised, having formed smaller co-operatives which work alongside washing stations – all in the effort to help drive up the quality of the coffee produced.
As well as gaining widespread attention throughout the specialty coffee community, Burundi is the second East African nation to host the coveted Cup of Excellence competition. Their first event is due to be held later this year.
In preparation for introducing a new country to the COE competition, Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE), in conjunction with the producing nation, hold a trial run called The Prestige Cup. As in is the case with Cup of Excellence, The Prestige Cup invites an international panel of cupping judges to score and rank the coffees in preparation for a global auction.
This competition not only celebrates the best coffees in Burundi, but also provides opportunity for development of professional cuppers. (USAID, Burundi Agribusiness Program (BAP), and the East Africa Fine Coffee Association (EAFCA), in collaboration with ACE, runs the Burundi cupping training program). The feedback from these professional tasters is pivotal in assisting producers’ efforts in raising the quality of their coffee as well as adding more clout to negotiating direct sales contracts with specialty coffee buyers.
Mark Dunden from Silo, a green bean importer in Melbourne, travelled to Burundi last year. Mark’s journey to Burundi was not only for the purpose of participating as a judge in the Prestige Cup, but to also take the crucial step in starting some first hand relationships with producers and exporters.
Silo secured the Kayanza Gatare, one of 22 auction lots from the winning coffees of the Prestige Cup, and we are very excited to be able to bring it to New Zealand to share. It’s the first time a coffee from Burundi has featured here at Coffee Supreme. We look forward to seeing the continual development in the Burundi coffee market, as we’re sure many more great things are still to come from this nation.
The Burundi Kayanza Gatare will be available through all our retail locations, Customs and Woodward St in Wellington and Douglas St in Auckland, as well as through our online store from the 16th of May.