Region: Kayanza, Burundi
Producer: Smallholder Farmers 300 trees on avg.
Variety: Red Bourbon | Altitude: 1 700 – 1 900m
Kibingo washing station is located in Kayanza commune in northern Burundi. The station itself sits 1,893 meters above sea level. Kibingo serves 3,515 registered coffee growers who are spread over 18 hills in the area. All producers registered at a Greenco washing station are organized into groups of 30 people, headed by a farm leader. The washing station is equipped with 10 fermentation tanks, 2 soaking tanks and a drying field with 165 drying tables and 4 pre-drying tables. Kibingo can process 750,000 kg of cherry per day.
Quality assurance begins as soon as farmers deliver their cherries. Cherries are 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, the 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 in to high- and low-grade by density on a Mackinon 3-disc pulper outfitted with an additional separation disk. 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 regularly check the beans by hand 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 the parchment.