Rustic Woods Roasters

Burundi Karuzi Ubuto

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Karuzi Province


200 growers, part of the Ubuto producer group


Fully washed, dried on raised beds


1700 masl





Cupping Notes:

Golden raisin, almond, dates, milk chocolate


This is a traditional natural coffee from Karuzi, Burundi, produced by smallholders working with JNP Coffee to earn premiums, empower women in the workforce, and improve sustainable production. Karuzi is located in central Burundi and historically lesser known for its coffee compared to neighboring Ngozi and Kayanza provinces, considered to be Burundi’s top quality producers. The Karuzi group had heard of JNP’s assistance programs and post-harvest premiums and wanted to know how to get involved. Due to exactly this type of demand, JNP has established the “Dushime” program (dushime in Kirundi translates to “let’s be thankful”), which provides quality consulting, lot selection, marketing to JNP’s buyer community, and end-of-year premiums for participating groups not otherwise members of the IWCA. This coffee, created from only one distinct processing lot from this harvest, has been titled Ubuto, which translates to “young”. The name is a reflection of the brand-new partnership between JNP and Karuzi Province, as well as the literal age of the coffee trees themselves, which among this group are only a few harvests old, and distinctly youthful in the cup. 

JNP coffee is a company that produces and exports specialty coffees from Africa, primarily Burundi. The founder of JNP, Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian, has roots in this particular province of Burundi. Her mother grew up there, harvesting coffee on her family’s farm to cover school fees. 


Growing Coffee in Burundi

Burundi is divided by a narrow line of tall mountains that separate the Nile and Congo River basins.  Along this range 800,000 coffee farmers produce a coffee like no other in the world. Burundi is a small country - about the size of Vancouver Island - and most of these farms are small too – with an average of 200 coffee trees or less. Still, over 90% of the country’s GDP is produced by these backyard gardens. Coffee is a vital part of Burundi, and this vitality shines through in the cup in the form of complex, rare and balanced flavor. This is when Burundi is at its best. However, trees on many farms are weak, thus producing crop cycles (and cups) that can be wildly erratic. Landlocked and lacking infrastructure has been the least of concerns in Burundi, where civil war formally ended in 2003, leaving it one of the five poorest countries in the world

Yet, from these less-than-ideal conditions, some coffees still emerge as extraordinary. The story of Burundi is how a hundred struggles come together to produce this singular cup of coffee: each effort is as remarkable as the coffee that makes it all worth the while.