Balanced | Lime | Fig | Malt
Burundi | Woman-Producer
Whether you are intrigued or wary of this coffee from Burundi based on the unique tasting notes, let us assure you, this coffee is a winner.
Balanced is the key tasting note in this coffee, because all of the parts work so beautifully together and the finish is clean and delightful. The lime is not at all sour, just brings a brightness and liveliness to the first sip. The fig brings sweetness and richness and the malt we taste connotes the depth and pleasant bitterness.
This coffee is named Together We Can because the the group of farmers behind this coffee, comprised of both women and men, refer to themselves as Turihamwe Turashobora in Kirundi, which translates to “Together We Can!’’. Their commitment to the coffee and the process of the work they do together truly make this coffee shine.
This coffee is brought to us by Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian, the founder of JNP Coffees. She is without a doubt one of the most influential individuals in Burundi coffee today.
Raised in the capital city of Bujumbura, Jeanine would go on to earn an MBA from Northwestern University’s prestigious Kellogg School, cycle through corporate America, and eventually reconnect with her birth country by founding Burundi Friends International, a not-for-profit funding educational and economic empowerment programs for rural Burundians, which is now in its 13th year. After a few years marketing Burundi coffees stateside for friends and family, Jeanine realized she had every reason to lead the business, and JNP Coffee was born.
JNP Coffee is highly focused on women’s empowerment, and along with a few local women’s rights advocates, formulated the Burundi chapter of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance. The IWCA value chain has been so impactful over the years that JNP has created additional programs to expand their farmer base and generate premiums. Producer groups of women and men alike, such as this one, can qualify for JNP’s recent “DushimeTM” program, which delivers the same kind of post-harvest premiums as IWCA has since 2013. It seems they can’t expand fast enough. In Kayanza and Ngozi, the two provinces at the heart of the nation’s coffee production, competition for cherry can be fierce, so washing stations may pay well above the country’s minimum price to court premium harvests. JNP coffee goes a step further, returning second payments to farmers and investing in opportunities for education and community building. And they’re succeeding: this same producer group contributed coffee of 600 members to JNP last harvest; this year it’s 2000.
The wet mill that produced this coffee was built in 2018, entirely with the savings of women farmers who had long wanted a processing site of their own for quality assurance. The wet mill and quality team is entirely women-led and works closely with JNP’s trained Q Graders on best quality practices and lot curation. In addition to an efficient water treatment system for the processing station, JNP Coffee is also looking to invest in Rainforest Alliance certification (RFA) for this group.
Fully washed processing for members of the Turihamwe Turashobora group is as detailed as anywhere in Burundi where the best coffees are produced. Cherry is floated for density and visible defects prior to mechanical depulping and demucilaginating. Thanks to the mechanical mucilage removal fermentation is quick, lasting only overnight, after which the wet parchment is sorted by density under water in concrete tanks, and then soaked again once complete. Drying takes place at first under shade, and then in open air with the parchment piled into pyramids, which are flattened and re-shaped each day as a form of incremental air exposure to slowly and evenly dry the coffee and lock in the final moisture. The resulting profile is exquisite.