Back for a second year running, this coffee from Migoti Hill washing station is wowing us again with its juicy complexity, giant strawberry flavour, and clean finish. It’s a naturally processed coffee lover’s dream come true.
This spring our roaster and green coffee buyer Ludwika Kopczynska is spending six weeks at Migoti Hill, helping them in their cupping lab and around the washing station. We’re excited about the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with this group of producers and learn more about how coffee is grown and processed in Burundi.
Migoti Coffee Company buys coffee cherries grown by smallholder farmers whose plots are in the surrounding mountains overlooking Lake Tanganyika. The name Migoti comes from a local indigenous tree. A relatively new washing station, Migoti Hill was built in 2016. The team works closely with their supplying producers to provide education and support on things like pruning, intercropping, planting shade trees, utilising green fertilisers, stabilising soils and natural pest control.
Migoti Hill washing station is operated by a local team of ten permanent staff and over 250 temporary workers who are employed during the coffee season from March to June. The station manager Zephyrin Banzubaze is responsible for managing all the staff, communicating with coffee farmers, receiving and selecting coffee cherries, processing the coffee, overseeing the drying process, storing and milling the dry parchment coffee and preparing the final green coffee for export. The majority of the temporary staff are women who work mainly on the raised drying tables, regularly turning the coffee as it dries and removing defective beans that compromise the quality.
Burundi is among the smallest coffee producing countries in East Africa, it is endowed with ideal conditions for coffee production with elevations of 1,500-2,000 m.a.s.l. and abundant rainfall. Approximately 800,000 families country-wide cultivate an average of 150 - 200 coffee trees per farm. Arabica, specifically Bourbon varietal, represents nearly all of Burundi's coffee production which, along with the unique terroir of the mountains, lends Burundi coffees their distinctive bright, juicy acidity and floral characteristics.