Nestled between Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi is one of the highlights of the annual coffee calendar. At altitudes ranging from 4000 to 6500 Feet above sea level. Lagunas Coffee is proud to offer an exceptional Burundi Kibingo Intenso born from this beautiful region and is excited to share more about it. The country is a location boasting the ideal conditions for great Arabica coffee, thanks to the volcanic soil. In addition, most Burundi coffee is produced by small farms that are passionate about exceptional quality beans. While coffee production in Burundi may be relatively young, it has certainly had its share of ups and downs.
A Recent Introduction
Coffee was introduced to the country in the 1930s, while under Belgian rule. Though the production of coffee was mandated by Belgium, the local population found great success in it. After gaining its independence in 1962, the industry continued to flourish, and farmers were given the opportunity to cultivate a better life for themselves and their families.
In the 1930’s, Under Belgian rule coffee was introduced to Burundi due to its favorable climate and fertile soil. Although mandated by the Belgian government the indigenous people found great success in growing coffee. After gaining independence in 1962 the industry continued to flourish with farmers seeing a direct route to a better life. The newly formed government understood the value and importance of coffee as a resource and began to invest heavily in the industry. The building of washing stations and planting of coffee trees paid off, and coffee is now Burundi’s chief export.
A central element of Burundi’s coffee industry is the concept of cooperative farming. Smallholder farmers work together collectively to process and sell their coffee. This approach helps to empower local communities to improve their quality of life, and to develop a better-quality product by sharing knowledge and resources.
Civil War plagued Burundi from 1993 through the early 2000s. The coffee industry was heavily impacted, and many coffee farms, as well as villages, were destroyed. Conflict between the Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority, led to the assassination of President Melchoir Ndadaye. A power-sharing agreement was finally reached in 2003, paving the way to the war’s end. A decade of brutal violence and displacement took its toll on the people, and the coffee, but with resilience and commitment, as well as support from outside stakeholders, coffee is once again thriving in Burundi.
In recent years, Burundi’s coffee has gained international recognition for its unique flavor and high-quality beans. In 2019, Cup of Excellence competition alone, Burundi had an impressive seven green coffee lots score 90 or above according to an international panel of judges. Cup of Excellence is an organization dedicated to changing the lives of local coffee farmers and helping them thrive.
A Brighter Future
Burundi’s coffee industry continues to thrive and evolve. Presently, a strong push for sustainability is underway. Farmers are finding new ways to produce better coffee with a smaller carbon footprint. Initiatives are being implemented by Burundi to promote eco-friendly farming practices, support fair wages for growers, and improve the supply chain. There is also a concerted effort for sustainability. Initiatives are being implemented to promote Eco-friendly farming practices, support fair wages for coffee growers, and improve the overall coffee supply chain. As the coffee industry in Burundi nears its century mark, it faces both opportunities and challenges. By continuing to invest in infrastructure, education, and quality control, the industry should continue to thrive, and gain an even stronger presence in the global coffee market.
Burundi’s coffee story is filled with perseverance and dedication, as well as a dedication and passion for the craft. Despite the tumultuous history, the coffee produced continues to impress. In Burundi, coffee is more than just a beverage or a crop. It is a way of life, a livelihood, and a love that in time will be a significant catalyst for improved economic development and sustainability there. The next time you savor a cup of Lagunas Coffee Burundi Kibingo Intenso, remember the rich history and the hardworking farmers who make it all possible.
Get your bag at www.lagunascoffee.com/product/burundi-kibingo-intenso and enjoy! We think you’ll love it as much as we do!