Region: Migoti Hill
Farm: Various Smallholders in the Region
Altitude: 1,800 masl
Process | Varietal: Natural | Bourbon
Tasting Ideas: Rooibos Tea, Tart, Raspberry, Juicy
We roast ‘in-Haus’ so that you can have a ‘Farm to Cup’ experience
During colonization, Belgians forced the people of Burundi to grow coffee to pay taxes, an all too familiar story. So, it is understandable that after independence, the farmers of Burundi were less than enthusiastic about growing coffee and there was almost no focus on quality. When world coffee prices dropped to historic lows 20 years ago, prices paid to farmers by government run washing stations were so low that coffee was smuggled into neighboring countries to be sold as Rwandan or Tanzanian coffee. When prices began to rise and become relatively stable, Burundi coffee farmers in the northern highlands did not forget that Rwanda received better prices for quality. The coffee farmers of Burundi began to emulate some of what was happening in Rwanda, forming cooperatives and seeking ways to improve quality
One clear indicator of a focus on quality is an increase in washing stations in a country where transportation is a challenge. The closer a washing station is to coffee trees, the greater control over quality and micro-climate specific separations. Burundi has seen a significant increase in the number of washing station over the last ten years and in recent years internal economic structures have liberalized enough for growers to experience increased income for increased quality. The cool highlands, soil, and altitude are ideal for growing excellent coffee.
This natural-processed coffee comes from smallholder farmers located on Migoti Hill, near Migoti Washing Station.
Pontien Ntunzwenimana is majority owner of the Migoti Washing Station in Mutambu, Burundi and was born and lived through his childhood in Mutambu. The multi-generational coffee farmers in Pontien’s home community had all but abandoned coffee as a source of income due to the 12-year civil war (1993-2005) when their Arabica coffee trees were neglected and destroyed. With peace in the country and a state-of-the-art coffee washing station that Pontien built in 2016, the local community has new-found hope for the future, and farmers are again investing in their coffee farms. Pontien’s six years of green coffee production in Mutambu (2016-2022) have proven the local coffee to be some of the best in Burundi. Migoti Coffee’s vision is to see the local coffee-growing community grow in health and economic prosperity, with quality coffee production as one of several entrepreneurial activities underway.