Chocolate, peach, raisin, funk
Over ripe strawberries, all the funk and ferment but still structured. Integrated acidity. Super syrupy, sugary and good mouthfeel. Rum, raisins and chocolaty finish. Wild and funky,
Sehe Washing Station is one of the newly built washing stations by our Burundian partner Salum Ramadhan. Its located in the province of Shibitoke in the hills of Bukinyanana commune. The site manager is a young guy called Christopher. Its a medium sized washing station and they receive about 400 tons of cherry pr season. That adds up to about 3 containers of specialty. They have a great clean natural water source. There is about 160 drying tables and 37 of them have a 2 stories, meaning the coffees will partially be dried in shade. Salum is now also specialized in producing naturals and honeys as well as regular washed and all he’s 4 washing stations.
The coffees are basically all selected daily lots, named by the local area or Collin (hill) where the cherries are purchased. Farms in Burundi is small, often below one hectar each with some hundred trees. This means that a daily lot of e.g. 25 bags of greens can consist of coffee from some hundred growers.
He’s also investing in social and environmental projects such as education in the local areas, ponds for waste water etc.
Picking and selection
The main harvest will normally start very slowly in March, peak around May (depending on altitude and weather) and end in July. The family members on the small farms are working the land, picking the coffee cherries themselves in the afternoon or on Saturdays. They will then either deliver the cherries to Mbirizi washingstation by foot or bicycle, or to the closest collection points where Salum will have he’s site collector, meaning a representative from Mbirizi washingstation. They are strategically placed in remote areas to buy cherries. The farmers are free to deliver their cherries to anyone offering the highest price. And the competition in this area can be hard. Salum and his collectors will communicate with the local farmers on selective picking and sorting. To attract farmers with the best qualities they are constantly paying premiums above the market prices to improve the product.
Sehe washing stations have strict routines for cherry reception. The coffees are sorted by the farmers at the receiving stations on raised tables, or they even have small flotation tank system for each farmer at delivery. They also have workers dedicated to sort out un ripe and over ripe coffees for their special preparation of micro lots. The pre processing flotation process is to first put the cherries in water tanks. They will then skim off the floaters and give it back to the farmer before the coffees are hand sorted to separate out unripe/half-ripe.
They are only targeting the highest qualities for their honey process as it is relatively complicated in their climate, especially during the beginning of the harvesting season when there is a lot of rain.
The cherries are going through separation by soaking and are hand sorted before it goes in to production. After sorting the coffees are de pulped before they get graded by density in the channels of the traditional Agarde disc pulper. It’s graded into 3 grades by density where only the first grades from the denser beans goes to Honey production. After pulping and grading they still have all the mucilage left. This would be referred to as black honey in e.g. Costa Rica.
They get spread out in a medium thick layer in under shade the first 1-2 days. Later they move it out in the sun, but make sure its dried carefully. They get covered up by night. After the first days they start to move the «sticky» parchment and crack it up so that every single bean is not sticking to another bean. Its dried about 20 days in sun on raised beds. They are sorting the defects during the drying period.