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Burundi Gakenke

Burundi Gakenke

Regular price 1,680.00 RSD
Regular price Sale price 1,680.00 RSD
Sale Sold out
Tax included.
Washing Station Gakenke washing station
Process Washed
Variety Red Bourbon
Elevation 1500–1800 MASL
Region Kayanza
Country Burundi

Gakenke station was built in 1991. With 224 drying beds, the station can process up to 750 metric tons per season. The station has 2 flotation tanks, 10 fermentation tanks, and 2 soaking tanks. The drying field has 150 raised beds. Their focus on high-quality processing results in a profile that's juicy and floral with black tea, berries and a caramelized sweetness.

Gakenke station has 1,780 registered farmer members, spread over 22 hills in Gatare commune, Kayanza province. These are organized in groups of 30 people, headed by a producer leader to facilitate communication and organization with the washing station. The farmers typically have an average of 250 trees.

The washing station participates in a number of farmer outreach and support projects including a livestock rearing project and a range of Farmer Hub projects centered on strengthening cooperatives and improving yields.

During the harvest season, all coffee is selectively handpicked. Most families only have 200 to 250 trees, and harvesting is done almost entirely by the family.

Quality assurance begins as soon as farmers deliver their cherry. Cherry is wet-processed under constant supervision. The pulping, fermentation time, washing, grading in the channels and a final soaking are all closely monitored. All cherry is floated in small buckets as a first step to check quality. After floating, the higher quality cherry is sorted again by hand to remove all damaged, underripe and overripe cherries. 

After sorting, cherry is pulped within 6 hours of delivery. The machine can process up to 3 tons of cherries per hour. During pulping, cherry is separated into high- and low-grade by density on a Mackinon 3-disc pulper outfitted with an additional separation disk.  The coffee is then fermented in water from a nearby stream for 10 to 12 hours, depending on ambient temperature. A small sign on the fermentation tank keeps track of each lot. The sign mentions the washing station name, date of cherry purchase, grade of the bean and the time when fermentation began. Trained agronomists check the beans by hand regularly to ensure fermentation is halted at the perfect time. The station workers trample the parchment for 30 minutes in the fermentation tank. This trampling process helps to remove mucilage from parchment. After this, parchment is washed in clean water and moved into the washing-grading canal.

As the beans flow through the washing-grading canal, wooden bars that are laid across the canal prevent beans of specific densities from passing through. These bars are spaced across the channel. While the first blockade stops the most-dense beans, the next is arranged to stop the second most-dense beans, and so on. In total, the channel separates beans into seven grades according to density. After washing, parchment is poured onto wooden trays or nylon bags and carried to the drying tables, each in its separate quality group. Each tray and nylon bag of parchment keeps its traceability tag with all info.

Parchment will dry slowly for 2 to 3 weeks. Pickers go over the drying parchment for damaged or defective beans that may have been missed in previous quality checks. Usually, each table holds 800kg of parchment. In the peak of the season, the maximum load for a table is 1,000kg. Each table has a traceability tag with the lot info. The parchment is left to dry from sunrise to sunset and is covered with a plastic sheet during the evening or when it rains. During this time, parchment is turned regularly to ensure even drying. The moisture level is carefully monitored and any parchment with visual defects is removed.

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