Smallholder farmers organized around Bavyeyi III processing station
Local bourbon cultivars
Gashoho, Muyinga Province, Burundi
Full natural and dried on raised beds
April - July
Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian, the founder of JNP Coffee, 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.
Muyinga province is lesser known for coffee than Kayanza or Ngozi provinces to the west, but that is precisely why Jeanine and her quality team were interested in investing here. Burundi, like Rwanda to its north, is a gifted territory for coffee: elevations are consistently high, soils are generously fertile, and its arabica cultivars are unique to the rest of the coffee-producing world. Muyinga province is no exception, but has not seen the same level of investment as the more developed producing regions closer to Bujumbura. JNP has for years managed a processing station in Ngozi, whose popularity has grown over time. This past harvest they began receiving cherry from yet another group of farmers, from the Gashoho municipality just over the border in Muyinga. Bavyeyi in Kirundi translates to “parents,’’ a name given to honor the generations of hardworking parents, like Jeanine’s own, whose labor in coffee (something many farming families either do not consume or cannot afford to consume) provides shelter, nourishment, and educational opportunities to their children. While this lot is uniquely coffee harvested by Gashoho farmers, the total number of farmers contributing to Bavyeyi is now over 2,000. All participating farmers qualify for JNP’s Dushime program, a second-payment incentive for delivering the highest quality, which is paid at the end of each harvest, and which varies from 20-40 cents per pound.
Drying naturals in the high and cool Ngozi climate is a painstakingly slow process, often taking 20-30 days to complete, during which the coffee is continuously circulated for even air exposure. Despite having one of the longest drying periods in the world, the cup profile is noticeably balanced and crisp.