top of page

Quality worth grading – and cupping in Amsterdam

The 2018 harvest is ready and we are cupping samples. Much big news for JNP Coffee this month – for starters, we have a Certified Q grader on the team in Burundi. Gilberte Horugavye, a native of Burundi, has recently been successfully calibrated per CQI protocol (Coffee Quality Institute). Q Grade-certified since 2009, Gilberte is busy in the Bujumbura cupping laboratory pre-selecting this season’s best beans for you.

And this just in -- we are celebrating our Mahonda coffee earning an incredible 93 score, which tied it for third place among more than 100 coffees considered in Coffee Review’s June 2018 Tasting Report of African Great Lakes coffees. Harvested in Burundi’s central Gitega province, these were roasted by Barrington Coffee in Lee, Massachusetts.

Come taste for yourself in Amsterdam on June 21! We’ll be cupping at Europe’s major coffee event, the World of Coffee. Look for us on the ground floor, Meeting Room 1 in the RAI Exhibition Centre. We’ll be there with other women’s coffees from IWCA chapters around the world from 1 to 2 p.m.

Can’t make it to Europe? You’ll have another chance to cup some JNP Coffees in New York City on June 26 at the Pulley Collective. Come see us at noon that day in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood at 175 Van Dyke Street. Looking past June, we will be on the road most of this summer, coming closer to you. Check our Facebook page for updates. And if our schedules don’t sync, we would be happy to send you samples.

Also new this season are initial experiments with cherries prepared using yeast fermentation. I had productive conversations about this innovative approach with consultant Lucia Solis during my latest trip to Burundi.

IWCA chapter president Jocelyne Nineza, yeast fermentation consultant Lucia Solis, Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian and Q grader Gilberte Horugavye gather outside the national cupping lab in Ngozi.

I first met Lucia at last year’s SCA coffee expo in Seattle, and I was pleased to persuade her to come see the developing coffee economy in Burundi.

An expert in Latin American coffee fermentation design, this was her first trip to Africa. She visited one of our washing stations in Ngozi province, and we tested the yeast fermentation process on three small batches -- one for 36 hours of fermentation, a second for 60 hours, plus a control.

This process adapts a technique used in the wine industry to create new flavors, enhance existing ones, and ensure consistency in production. Coffee cherries are “inoculated” with yeast to control the natural fermentation process, which can add cup complexity and extend the shelf life of green coffee. An additional bonus is that it reduces water usage, because there is more effective demucilaging.

Sorting cherries prior to yeast fermentation trial, control batch and fermentation underway

Different strains of yeast produce different results. As we learn more about this approach, we will be able to offer more customized coffees for our clients in the future.

While in Burundi, I visited with farmers and reviewed the ongoing coffee production process at JNP Coffee’s washing station and warehouse partners. I walked with managers at all levels to see the results firsthand. As this year’s harvest comes to a close, I confirmed the work of the on-site quality staff, who checked that the women farmers selected only ripe red cherries, delivered only during daylight hours.

I was pleased to see such good work at each step of the process. The ongoing education on best practices of coffee production is making a clear difference in the quality I saw at some of the washing stations. The 2018 harvest will result in many beautiful coffee selections. I can’t wait to share them!

bottom of page