EDGE VISITS our new coffee supplier in Burundi

The work we do with our farmers and developing the roast profile of our Burundi single origin has been another one of our EDGE coffee adventures...

Chris Edgcumbe with Pascal Coffee Farmer

 

Photographed left: Chris, Head Roaster, right: Pascal, Migoti Hill coffee Farmer, Burundi.

We take great pride in creating close relationships with the coffee farmers we work with.

It has always been important to us here at EDGE Tea and Coffee, not only to create the best brews at our Roastery & Café but also to tell the story of the farmers who grow the beans we roast and grind fresh for you every day.

A little history of Burundi

Coffee has been grown in Burundi since the 1920s when under Belgian colonial rule. All the farmers in the country were given coffee seedlings and followed orders to cultivate them with a very little resource or support.

Shortly after the country’s independence in 1962, the coffee sector was privatised. Now, coffee production contributes significantly to the country’s economy.

Burundi is among the smallest coffee-producing countries in East Africa endowed with ideal conditions for the countless Arabica Bourbon coffee trees.

Arabica coffee now represents virtually 100% of Burundi’s national coffee production and the bourbon variety grown at high elevations in Burundi is characteristically sweet with bright acidity, big body, floral, citrus, and spiced notes. 

Photographed from left to right: Chris Edgcumbe Rendle and friend with Migoti washing station owner, Pontie. Discussing natural coffee processing and drying.

EDGE coffee roasters in Burundi – April 2022

Chris Edgcumbe in Burundi

 

Photographed left: Chris and right: Migoti Hill washing station employee.

Our Master Roaster and Director Chris began his career in tea trading in Kenya and has made many trips to Africa visiting the wonderful farms where our coffee grows.

Our ethical coffee and tea business is largely based around seeing the production facilities first-hand. Chris has hiked long distances over beautiful hilly terrain and experienced some exhilarating motorbike rides to reach countless remote farms.

This Burundi trip was taken with Omwani Coffee Company and Migoti Hill Coffee.

Meeting the farmers and being able to spend a whole week with them gives us the chance to tell you the incredible stories of the people who grow the sustainable coffee roasted right here in West Sussex.

Understanding the challenges our suppliers face and the sheer amount of work it takes to bring a fresh cuppa to your table is incredibly insightful and allows us to support our farmers.

Seeing the growing, washing and drying processes allows for even greater knowledge of the beans, which we can put straight into practice back in our Sussex Roastery.

For example, the hand-picked coffee cherries that end up as Migoti Mountain coffee beans are medium roasted to bring out the lemon, cherry, maple syrup, and dark chocolate taste notes

Meet Zephyrin

Photographed: Zephyrin, Migoti Hill washing station manager.

Migoti washing station manager Zephyrin is responsible for managing the team, training coffee farmers, and overseeing all coffee processing and production.

Most of the team are women, who work mainly on the raised drying tables, regularly turning the coffee by hand as it dries and removing defective beans that compromise the coffee quality.

Ensuring the beans have constant attention throughout each process is key. The work from cherry to dried green bean is incredibly labour intensive and meticulous.

On this trip, Chris spent time with the farmers and Zephyrin with his team of station workers to see the exceptionally hard work each individual puts into each bean. Chris has come back and shared his experiences with the team, this care and attention go directly into the freshly roasted beans we are so passionate about.

EDGE Burundi Coffee is an exceptional cup, and as a team we love it – give it a go and drop us a line to tell us what you think!