African Video Trio: Rwanda and Burundi Coffee Processing

Thompson brought back some extensive  video from his recent trips to Rwanda and Burundi.

“Usually I combine the trip to neighbors Rwanda and Burundi since their harvest seasons line up. In fact I usually just cross the border in the South of Rwanda on foot, and meet up with out Burundi partners in the northern district of Kayanza.

These videos aren’t fancy, but they are also a way I take notes (besides actually taking notes, which I do… a lot!) Makes sense to share my notes and what I see and learn along the way”


Rwanda Coffee Processing at Gitesi Washing Station

Wet-process method in action at Gitesi Washing Station near Lake Kivu, Rwanda.

Burundi Dry Process (Natural) Coffee

Tom comments on dry process coffee as he takes a look at coffee cherries drying on raised beds in Burundi (not Ethiopia).

(Funny note on this, there’s a bit of scorn I think in my tone here … no a lot of scorn! I don’t know, maybe I was having a bad day. Anyway since making this video we have actually become fond of the cup quality of Burundi natural dry process coffee and have been importing lots each year. I agree that there needs to be a greater reward for high quality naturals from Burundi, and we do account for that in our pricing to the cooperatives, for all the reasons I cite in the video) -t

Burundi Wet Processing Practices

Here’s a look at wet processed coffee in Burundi….and some shots of the work performed in the coffee mill. When we focus on things like technique and equipment in a mill, I think we forget that it’s the human labor that is truly the determining factor in quality. Hopefully that aspect receives proper attention in the video: