In the Great Lakes region of Central Africa we find the small, landlocked country of Burundi. And within Burundi, up north near the border of Rwanda, is the Kayanza region, though at this point, Burundi, being so small, doesn’t exactly have distinct growing areas as many bigger countries do. Instead, wherever the soil, elevation, and climate factors align, you’ll find local strains of the heirloom Bourbon variety blanketing the hills. Kayanza has 21 washing stations where farmers can bring their cherries for processing, some of which are turning out exemplary quality.
Be on the lookout for more exciting coffees from Burundi as the country continues to gain momentum in the specialty market. Similar to the best Rwandans, Burundi offerings feature bold, intense flavor, a balanced savory-sweet pairing of citrus and chocolate spiciness, velvet body, and wine-toned acidity. No wonder, then, that the Burundi chapter of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance took both 2nd and 20th place in the 2014/15 Cup of Excellence competition.