Transcend Coffee & Roastery
Kayanza province is in the Northwestern part of Burundi, and is home to the headwaters of the Nile river. The Masha washing station is one of eight in Kayanza that are owned and operated by Greenco, which was established in 2015. Their mission is to build sustainable livelihoods through the production of exceptional coffee. Each washing station manager is also an agronomist, and in the off-season they teach courses to farmers on agricultural and harvest best practices. They provide seedlings of red bourbon trees, which have been growing in Burundi since the 1930s. Coffee cherries brought into the mill are visually inspected by a trained team then floated to remove underdeveloped seeds. After the husks are mechanically removed and the mucilage and parchment-covered seeds have been fermented for 12 hours, the coffee is sent through a washing and grading channel. All of the best and most dense coffee is left for another day-long soak to get rid of any other sticky stuff and then sent to raised beds to dry to 12% moisture. As the parchment dries it is continuously inspected for signs of insect infiltration, which helps mitigate any instance of the maligned Potato Taste Defect. Greenco staff work diligently to stop this. It’s hard to pinpoint the source of the defect but the best evidence points to a bacteria that enters the seeds after an insect has burrowed in. During dry-milling, a special machine uses UV light to pinpoint and remove remaining suspect beans, which means that PTD is increasingly rare. All of this is to say that this coffee has intense blood orange and citrus flavours from the high elevation of the farms and brown sugar and manuka honey sweetness from the well cared for red bourbon varieties.
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