Gahahe - Burundi

Gahahe - Burundi


Nectarine, Stone Fruits, Juicy.

Variety: Bourbon
Process: Fully Washed
Altitude: 1700 m.a.s.l.
Producer: Gahahe Washing Station
Region: Kayanza

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Cherry sorting at Gahahe Washing Station

Cherry sorting at Gahahe Washing Station

Gahahe washing station

Gahahe washing station is located in Gahahe, Kayanza Commune in Kayanza province. The washing station lies at 1800 meters above sea level. Gahahe has 1771 registered coffee producers, each has 240 trees on average. The washing station is equipped with 10 fermentation tanks, 4 cherry selection tables, 2 soaking tanks and a drying field with 180 drying tables, and 18 pre-drying tables.

Sorting for quality
At cherry intake, a picking team sorts the cherries on maturity. Floaters are taken out first by dumping the cherries in large buckets. Recently, a lot more focus is being put on how to limit potato taste defect in the cup. Since it is generally accepted that a strong selection drastically reduces the number of affected beans, washing stations all across the country focus on better selection methods. A campaign was launched from the national coffee institute as well to encourage producers to float their cherries in the river before they bring it to the washing station. The exporter Greenco already put their quality standard high right from when they became operational in 2015. This has motivated producers to select their cherries on maturity and through flotation before they make the journey to the closest washing station. This way, they meet Greenco’s quality standard and they can benefit from their good cherry price which sits above the national minimum.

At cherry intake, a picking team sorts the cherries again. Any remaining floaters are taken out first by dumping the cherries in large buckets. After the sorting and floating, the producer takes his coffee to the cherry hopper. The cleaned volume is weighed again and noted by the accountant. Next, the cherries are dumped into the hopper with the other cherries of the same quality that were delivered that day.

For the washed coffees, the parchment dry ferments in tanks for 12 hours. Next, the washing station staff pushes the parchment through the washing and grading channel. The heaviest, highest quality parchment will soak in tanks for another 24 hours before drying. A second team of pickers check the parchment on the pre-drying tables to take out more defect beans. After a couple of hours, the parchment is moved to the drying tables. Depending on the weather conditions, it will reach 12% moisture content in about three weeks. The quality team closely checks the volume per table. The parchment is spread out in a thin layer so it can dry evenly. On the raised beds, air can circulate freely around the parchment so the coffee dries at the same rate.

The coffee is handpicked once more at the dry mill, after it has been milled. Greenco has a special room at the dry mill for sorting under UV light. This final sorting takes out anything that may have skipped all previous selections, and that the bare eye might have missed. This strong focus on selection and consistency on all steps during post-harvest is one of the reasons washing stations like Gahahe produce the some of the best coffees in Burundi. And this year’s Cup of Excellence winners are proof of that belief!