Burundi: Benga

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Maple Syrup, Tea, Grape

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Description

Region:        Kayanza
Altitude:       1780 – 1950 masl
Varieties:      Red Bourbon
Process:       Washed
Grade:          85.75
Notes:           Maple Syrup, Caramel, Grape
Preparation:  Filter or Espresso

Mpanga is the name of the central washing station located in Kayanza Province, Northern Burundi, here is where the Benga lot is processed. It’s managed by Jean-ClementBirabereye – a 15-year coffee veteran, who oversaw the construction of the washing station back in 2008. Mpanga processes roughly 1,500 tonnes of coffee per season, with each producer lot separated and named according to the hillside upon which the coffee was grown. UnderJean-Clement’s guidance, Mpanga has achieved incredible results at the Burundi Cup of Excellence, finishing 1st and 3rd in the 2014 competition. As a result of the hard work and diligence Jean-Clement has implemented, Mpanga has become highly regardedfor its consistently clean and complex coffees. 

In addition to his role at Mpanga, Jean-Clement alsomanages theSEGEC mill, who handle the export of Mpanga coffees. SEGEC (Societe General d’exploitation et d’exportation du Cafe)are doing their best to mitigate the risk farmers face with fluctuating world coffee prices. They pay an initial fee for delivered cherry, with additional bonuses based on quality once the coffee has been sorted and cupped. The lower quality coffeesare blended together and sold commercially, and the top performing lots are kept separate as microlots. Once these have been contracted and sold, SEGEC pay a premium to the producers that is a percentage of the premium SEGEC receive. SEGEC also invest heavily in farmer training to ensure the pickers and farm owners bring only the ripest cherries to the station. The bonus payment works to ensure the trainings are adhered to, as they can amount to a significant portion a producer’s yearly income.