Burundi Mubuga Natural

Origin: Burundi
Process: Natural
Producers: Mubuga Washing Station
Grown: Ngozi, northern Burundi, Central East Africa
Altitude: 1500+ metres
Varietals: Red Bourbon
Cupping Score: 86.25

Tasting Notes:
This lot is bursting with notes of pomegranate, strawberries and cream, blood orange and chocolate.

Brew Guide:

V60 and AeroPress

  • AeroPress
  • Steep
  • Fine to medium grind
  • 15g to 240ml water
  • 91-96 ℃
  • 2-3 minutes


  • Drip
  • Medium Grind
  • 35g to 600ml water
  • 91-96 ℃
  • 5-8 minutes

Pour Over

  • Drip
  • Medium Grind
  • 30g to 500ml water
  • 91-96 ℃
  • 2-4 minutes

French Press

  • Steep
  • Coarse grind
  • 35g to 500ml water
  • 91-96 ℃
  • 3-5 minutes

Moka Pot

  • Pressure
  • Fine Grind
  • 17g to 240ml water
  • 91-96 ℃
  • 2 minutes


  • Pressure
  • Find Grind
  • 7-10g to 30-60ml water
  • 91-96 ℃
  • 20-30 seconds

Roast Info:
Light to medium

Farm Info:

Mubuga Washing Station, located in Ngozi region of Burundi, an area renown for producing floral, sweet coffees with distinctive fruit notes including citrus and berries. Ngozi is located in Buyenzi, in northern Burundi, bordering Rwanda.

Some of this region’s best coffee beans come from its sub-regions including Kayanza and Ngozi. Kayanza is the most famous, producing coffee beans with high acidity, bright citric notes, and high cupping scores, while Ngozi has a lower coffee yield than Kayanza, but it’s coffee often ranks higher with consistent cupping scores about 85.

Farmers who deliver their cherry to Mubuga farm an average of 250 trees on the surrounding hills. The station is owned and operated by one of Bugestal.  Bugestal operates nine washing stations in Ngozi and Muyinga provinces and works with more than 15,000 farmers. Coffee washing stations are all certified by Rainforest Alliance, 4C and C.A.F.E. Practices. Bugestal creates social impact at origin using farm-direct supply chains and works in collaboration with the Kahawatu Foundation to help farmers improve their livelihoods through the increase of coffee production.

Processing Info:

Mubuga Natural’s quality assurance begins as soon as farmers deliver their cherry to the washing station. All cherry is floated in small buckets as a first step to check its quality. After floating, the cherry is sorted again by hand to remove any damaged, underripe and overripe cherries. After sorting, the cherry is then transported directly to the drying tables where they will dry slowly for 3-4 weeks.

Cherry is laid out in a single layer. Pickers go over the drying cherry for damaged or defective cherry that may have been missed in previous quality checks. The station is very strict about allowing only the highest quality cherry to complete the drying process. Cherry is covered with tarps during periods of rain, the hottest part of the day and at night. Once dry, the parchment coffee is then bagged and taken to the warehouse.

Before shipment, coffee is sent to Budeca, Burundi’s largest dry mill, where the coffee is milled and then hand-sorted by a team of hand-pickers who look closely at every single bean to ensure zero defects. It takes a team of two hand-pickers a full day to look over a single bag, which is one of the reasons the mill produces a relatively small volume of coffee, roughly 300 containers of 320 bags per year.

Coffee Country Info:

Burundi, a landlocked country located in central east Africa, sandwiched between Rwanda, Tanzania, and the Congo, is also known as the ‘‘heart of Africa’’. Mubuga washing station is located 1,500+ meters above sea level. Farmers who deliver their cherry to the station farm an average of 250 trees on the surrounding hills. Each tree on average yields around 1.5 kg of coffee cherry, so the average producer sells about 200-300 kg of cherry annually.

Most coffee trees in Burundi are Red Bourbon. Because of the increasingly small size of coffee plantings, aging rootstock is a very big issue in Burundi. Many farmers have trees that are over 50 years old, but with small plots to farm, it is difficult to justify taking trees entirely out of product for the 3-4 years it will take new plantings to begin to yield.

Burundi formerly a German colony was ceded to Belgians in the aftermath of WWI. It was they who introduced arabica coffee plants in the 1930s, quickly recognising that the favourable climate and mountainous terrain in several regions of the country were perfect for growing coffee.

Unsurprisingly coffee quickly became one of Burundi's primary cash crops, contributing significantly to the country's economy. Smallholder farmers, organized into cooperatives, began cultivating coffee on small plots of land. The coffee industry in Burundi grew steadily over the years, and by the mid-20th century, it had become a major export commodity.

Under Belgian rule, Burundian farmers were forced to grow a certain number of coffee trees each of course receiving very little money or recognition for the work. Once the country gained its independence in the 1962s, the coffee sector was eventually privatised, stripping control from the government, sadly though as a result the industry fell out of favour; quality declined, which in turn saw farmers dig up coffee plants or just simply abandon crops and this continued for some period until.

Despite the constant state of flux in the country, including civil war, political instability and the fluctuating coffee price Burundi’s coffee industry continued to be a significant and vital part of the economy. For their part, the various political forces in power continued to provide the industry with support and infrastructure to promote coffee production, alongside localised cooperatives who played a crucial role in organising and representing the interests of coffee farmers.

Another civil war in the 1990s nearly totally devastated the country’s economy, however, coffee slowly emerged as a possible means to aid recovery, particularly with the potential to focus on bringing in much needed foreign investment. In part inspired by neighbouring Rwanda’s success rebuilding through coffee during the 2000s I the aftermath of the tumultuous ethnic genocide that occurred in that country.

Happily with perseverance Burundi’s coffee industry saw an increase in investment, which has resulted in a healthy balance of both privately and state-run coffee companies and facilities, which have created business opportunities and economic stability, helping Burundi establish itself as an emerging African coffee-growing country, despite its small size and tumultuous history.