Burundi Nyagashia 15+ Fully Washed Akawa Project
ALTITUDE: 1530 masl
TASTING NOTES: Brown, Sugar, Cherry, Mandarin, Orange ,Raspberry, Red Currant, Vanilla
Nyagashiha (pronounced NIA-GASH-IYA) meaning comes from the historical tree variety that once grew in the Murago region. This tree in Burundi’s local dialect Kurundi was called “Imishiha” and served for the construction of houses within the community.
Nyagashiha washing station is located 86km south of the capital Bujumbura. It is surrounded by steep valleys where most of the land is used by farmer/family communities who not only grow coffee but also fruit and vegetables. Jean-Baptiste Bigirimana is the manager who oversees the 1172 farmers who produce roughly 400MT of exportable green coffee per harvest. The region has a temperate year round average of 18 degrees, which allows the cherries to develop slowly, creating greater complexity in the cup. On top of these ideal conditions for growing coffee Jean-Baptiste insists on rigorous double sorting of all lots that pass through the mill. This creates incredible complexity, cleanliness and consistency in the cup.
Jean-Baptiste is what you call a “yes” man. He has been the leading coffee innovator across all the washing stations within the Akawa project. Every time Succam has pushed for new processes or quality improvements it has been JB to first take on the challenge. Working in coffee since 1992, JB graduated in agronomy school and from there worked across several state owned washing stations. In 2008 he was appointed manager at Nyagashiha and has been the main driver for coffee excellence and quality control. His hard work recently became officially recognised when the washing station placed in the top 20 of Cup of Excellence - 2019.
The Nyagashiha mill is one of 13 mills that form the Akawa project. A joint venture between SUCCAM and Supremo, the Akawa project was created to help producers escape the cycle of poverty in a sustainable and equitable way. Producers, striving for fairer remunerations and better living conditions, demanded a path towards prosperity. As such the project's working directives are based around UTZ certification standards, focusing on good agricultural practices, environmental responsibility and social equity as the central tenets of success for project members.