Cupping Notes: Apple Cider, Apricot, Graham Cracker
Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian, the founder of JNP Coffees, is without a doubt one of the most influential individuals in Burundi coffee today. Raised in the capital city of Bujumbura, Jeanine would go on to earn an MBA from Northwestern University’s prestigious Kellogg School, cycle through corporate America, and eventually reconnect with her birth country by founding Burundi Friends International, a not-for-profit funding educational and economic empowerment programs for rural Burundians, which is now in its 13th year. After a few years marketing Burundi coffees stateside for friends and family, Jeanine realized she had every reason to lead the business, and JNP Coffee was born. JNP Coffee is highly focused on women’s empowerment, and along with a few local women’s rights advocates, formulated the Burundi chapter of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance. The IWCA value chain has been so impactful over the years that JNP has created additional programs to expand their farmer base and generate premiums. Producer groups of women and men alike, such as this one, can qualify for JNP’s new “DushimeTM” program, which delivers the same kind of post-harvest premiums as IWCA has since 2013. It seems they can’t expand fast enough. In Kayanza and Ngozi, the two provinces at the heart of the nation’s coffee production, competition for cherry can be fierce, so washing stations may pay well above the country’s minimum price to court premium harvests. JNP coffee goes a step further, returning second payments to farmers and investing in opportunities for education and community building. The wet mill that produced this coffee was built in 2018, entirely with the savings of women farmers who had long wanted a processing site of their own for quality assurance. The group of farmers behind this coffee, comprised of both women and men, refer to themselves as Turihamwe Turashobora in Kirundi, which translates to “Together We Can!’’. The group achieved an output of 1,000 bags of coffee this year, with plans to reach 1,200 in 2021. The wet mill and quality team is entirely women-led and works closely with JNP’s trained Q Graders on best quality practices and lot curation. Fully washed processing for members of the Turihamwe Turashobora group is as detailed as anywhere in Burundi where the best coffees are produced. Cherry is floated for density and visible defects prior to depulping and fermentation. After fermentation is complete the wet parchment is sorted by density in concrete washing channels. Drying takes place at first under shade, and then in open air with the parchment piled into pyramids, which are flattened and re-shaped each day as a form of incremental air exposure to slowly and evenly dry the coffee and lock in the final moisture. The resulting profile is exceedingly clean, bright and delicate, with flavors of fresh squeezed grapefruit and sweet lemongrass.
Region: Ngozi Province
Altitude: 1750 masl
#1equals 10: Every bag of coffee helps provide food for a family in need.