Burundi: Shembati Microlot #11 - Fully Washed
In the cup: Super complex sweetness! Smooth and super balanced. Slim and transparent, like a bucket of fresh tart berries. Tasting notes of bright citrus and orange.
Mouthfeel: Pleasant medium mouthfeel.
Cupping Score: 88
Variety: Red Bourbon
Process: Fully Washed
Washing Station: Shembati,
Microlot: La Cumbre, Shade #13
Producer: Salum Ramadhan
Altitude: 1800 metres above sea leve
Shembati Washing Station is one of two washing stations built in 2016 by the producer Salum Ramadhan. Its located in the province of Kayanza in the hills of Butaganzwa commune. The site manager is a young guy called Ame Patrick. Its a medium sized washing station and they receive about 700 tons of cherry pr season.
He is systematically separating the coffees based on where they are grown, and by the date of processing. Post harvest we are cupping through some hundred samples to select the ones we find outstanding. They generally collect cherries from within a community, however the landscape in Burundi means the communities are situated in between hills and this can often create microclimates specific to each area.
He’s also investing in social and environmental projects such as education in the local areas, ponds for wastewater etc.
Picking and selection
The main harvest will normally start very slowly in March, peak around May (depending on altitude and weather) and end in July. The family members on the small farms are working the land, picking the coffee cherries themselves in the afternoon or on Saturdays. They will then either deliver the cherries to Shembati washing station by foot or bicycle, Salum can still pick up cherry with his truck but only when the farmer is within the newly regulated radius from the washing station.The farmers are free to deliver their cherries to anyone offering the highest price. And the competition in this area can be hard. Salum and his team will communicate with the local farmers on selective picking and sorting. To attract farmers with the best qualities they are constantly paying premiums above the market prices to improve the product.
Bringing in cherries from the different collection points is expensive as the cost of transport in Burundi is high. Still, it has been good for quality as he have well trained staff, good capacity and infrastructure to produce micro lots.
Shembati washing station has strict routines for cherry reception. The coffees are sorted by the farmers at the receiving stations on raised tables, or they even have small flotation tank system for each farmer at delivery. They also have workers dedicated to sort out un ripe and over ripe coffees for their special preparation of micro lots. The pre processing flotation process is to first put the cherries in water tanks. They will then skim off the floaters and give it back to the farmer before the coffees are hand sorted to separate out unripe/half-ripe.