Nemba Washing Station
Red Bourbon, Jackson
Underwater Fermentation (48 hours), Washed, 10 hour soak in Fresh Water. Dried on Raised Beds
May 2022-July 2022
Nemba Washing Station
Year in and year out, the Nemba Washing Station produces some of the most profoundly dynamic coffees we have ever tasted from Burundi. It was constructed in 1991 and receives coffee cherries from around 2,600 farmers in the surrounding communities. Each farm is roughly three acres in size, containing 200-300 coffee trees.
Our relationship began seven years ago in a somewhat unorthodox fashion. Despite loving this coffee when we first tasted it, we weren't able to purchase it because we couldn't pay the farmers enough for the coffee…let us elaborate. In February 2017, we committed to guaranteeing farmers better compensation through an industry-leading baseline price for all the coffee we purchase––more than 40% above the organic fair trade guarantee. The problem was, the coffee didn't cost enough. Instead of cutting a check to our exporter, they helped us get creative. The solution: use the additional funds we wanted to pay to purchase goats to be distributed to the communities that grew the coffee, a resource that would diversify their incomes and help them become more economically stable. And so, our pursuit of coffee and a fair price led us deeper into these communities through the gift of goats.
Typically in the Americas, coffee farmers will oversee the entire process of coffee production on their farm, from start to finish. This is not the case in East Africa, where farmers deliver coffee cherries to washing stations such as Nemba. This process results in greater clarity and intensity in the cup, two qualities we find compelling in Burundi coffee.
Farmers from the communities of Mikuba, Nkonge, and Gitwa supply the Nemba Washing Station. Once delivered, cherries are impeccably sorted for ripeness, creating consistently outstanding flavors in the cup. Fermentation takes place underwater, bringing clarity and brightness unique to the flavor profile. After a 48-hour fermentation, the coffee is given a final wash and another overnight soak before being moved to African drying beds for two weeks.
The varieties cultivated in Burundi are largely bourbon and jackson, both of which provide the underlying structure, texture, and complexity. When combined with the key cultivation conditions surrounding Nemba, the result is coffees that taste rare - unlike any other place in the world.
WHY WE LOVE IT
This year marks seven years of donating goats to the farmers of Nemba, and the coffee continues to taste remarkable. This community has been previously recognized in the Cup of Excellence competition, and the legacy continues with this harvest. It's by far the freshest and clearest representation of the unique and categorically outstanding cup profile created by the farmers and the team at Nemba.
In the cup, we taste intense brightness akin to Meyer lemon, with sugary sweet apricot, and robust black currant in the finish. This coffee is surprisingly dynamic, deep, and lively - sure to awaken your senses even on the coldest winter mornings.
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