Notes of redcurrant, plum and cherry jump out at first taste of this coffee, elevated by the tang of a lime-citrus acidity. The body is silky smooth, testament to the quality of the processing, and there are hints of chocolate and a mild nuttiness. The profile finishes with the mild but pleasant astringency of Earl Grey tea.
Mageyo Washing Station in Bujumbura, Burundi services close to 1000 farmers, and is part of the Akawa project, an initiative that was launched to build fair and stable supply chains in the country. The mill pays its farmers an up-front flat fee prior to the harvest, which mitigates the financial risk that often falls on the shoulders of coffee producers; this way, they are assured access to resources they need for a productive harvest. The Akawa initiative also finances UTZ certification for its member washing stations, and uses the premiums gained from the sale of this coffee to train farmers in good crop management practices.
Post-harvest, strict quality control processes are in place at the mill, which the farmers are happy to work with given the favourable payment structure. After processing, the coffee is transported to Nairobi where it is stored in the cooler climate to preserve the quality prior to export.