Burundi Cup of Excellence

Natural processed coffee wins Burundi Cup of Excellence for the first time

Gatukuza washing station in Ngozi has won the 2019 Burundi Cup of Excellence (COE), with a score of 90.13 for its natural processed Bourbon. It was the only coffee the international jury scored 90 or above.

The Kayanza region’s Gitwenge and Karinzi washing stations placed second and third respectively with scores of 89.92 and 89.43 for their washed Bourbons.

“This year’s Burundi COE brought amazing quality and an ever-expanding range of flavour profiles. Burundian coffees have always been known for their wide range of fruit complexity and sweetness. This year was no different as we tasted classic washed Bourbon flavours of orange, peach, fresh fig, honey, brown sugar and hibiscus,” COE Head Judge Stephen Vick says.

“With the addition of some naturally processed coffees into this year’s competition [including first place] those fruit flavours expanded even more with explosive strawberry, cantaloupe and papaya notes. I look forward to seeing what flavours Burundi has yet to uncover in years to come.”

The Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) concluded the seventh edition of its COE competition in Burundi on 8 August. The competition was held in Ngozi with in-country partners Intercafe. The panel represented markets from Kenya, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, the United States, Lithuania, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Burundi.

Coffee washing station owners submitted 131 samples from 11 provinces across Burundi.

After careful evaluation, the jury selected 23 coffees to go to the COE Auction from five providences. All 131 coffees entered in the competition were the Bourbon variety.

Nolan Hirte from Proud Mary Coffee Roasters describes his COE judging experience as a “reset for coffee”.

“It helps me stay connected and inspired by this incredible industry we work in. Burundi COE took that concept to another level again this year. Such a humbling place with such beautiful people working so hard for what they have, producing exceptional coffees. This year the national jury selected five natural lots in the top 40, two of which made it in to the top 10,” Hirte says.

“This was so exciting to see another side of what Burundi can offer. There was the classic bright and juicy apricot coming from the washed bourbon with loud berry notes and that sparkling acidity, delicious. Contrasted with the depth of the naturals with big tropical fruits ranging from pink to orange, like guava and mango and watermelon. [I’m] so excited for Burundi and what is to come.”

This year marks the first year that any natural processed coffees have made it to the Burundi Cup of Excellence Auction. These coffees will be available through an internet auction on 19 September.

For more information, visit www.allianceforcoffeeexcellence.org/burundi-2019

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