UnCommon Coffee
UnCommon Coffee

Bumba, Burundi

This is the first time we are featuring a honey-processed coffee from Bumba, one of the most inaccessible hills in the region. Still within the Kayanza region, it takes crossing three rivers and two province borders to reach Bumba, placing this remote community beyond the reach of basic infrastructure and resources like drinking water and electricity. Coffee is an essential crop for the livelihoods of Bumba farmers, alongside corn and beans, staple food, and income sources for the community. The centre of the hill is where locals come to sell their freshly harvested crops and other household essentials in a local market.

Sourcing from Bumba has proven to be a challenge. Farmers had to travel far and often for more than three hours to the nearest LMCP cherry collection point, where the coffee is delivered to their Bukeye washing station. In recent years, LMCP bought land to be closer to the Bumba community, building the Ninga washing station with a smaller scale processing site.

This exceptional honey process showcases a different side of Burundi coffee, where the coffee cherries have their skin removed but pulp intact to let the seed dry in its exposed fruit layer. This pulp-coated coffee dries on raised African beds, turning into an orange hue over time, with the pulp becoming sticky and reminiscent of honey, hence the name.

In 2014, Ben and Kristy Carlson, the founders of LMCP, established their largest washing station in Burundi. Their initiative aimed to empower local communities and uplift one of the world’s poorest countries through the production and export of specialty coffee, embodying a holistic, grassroots, community-driven approach. Named Heza, which translates to "beautiful" in Kirundi, the local dialect, it stands as their most significant and ambitious processing station.

LMCP's success in identifying landscapes with potential and investing in farmer livelihoods has led to the annual production of some of the country's best coffees. They organize farmers by hills; each hill can have a few thousand coffee trees and hundreds of registered producing partners who receive competitive prices and extensive farm-level training, in addition to regular support for their crops.

LMCP’s commitment to progress is evident in their processing, introducing the country’s first-ever honey-processed coffees alongside varied naturals and washed styles. Despite the challenges posed by the vast hilly landscape and dispersed farmers, LMCP's meticulous approach ensures the coordination of thousands of farmers and processing staff, resulting in the production of unique and high-quality coffees. The combination of education, fair prices, and sustainable practices has rekindled many farmers' faith in coffee as a long-term livelihood, contributing to economic and social change in Burundi.

Brew Guides

We've put together our go-to guides for the most popular brewing methods, these are by no means set in stone, nor can we promise a perfect result each and every time. What we can do however is provide you with a great foundation for a good brew, and allow for a bit of wiggle room and your own experimentation.