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Up for the challenge – the journey from coffee farm to cup

First flowering of future 2020 harvest!

It takes a lot of on-the-ground savvy to bring award-winning coffees to market, and I’m pleased to announce that our Kinyovu women’s coffee helped a local roaster win a Bronze medal at the prestigious Golden Bean competition.

When you look at photos of glistening coffee cherries, vast drying beds and magnificent mountainsides, you might think the journey from coffee farm to your café is as smooth as the coffee from Burundi.

The pictures make it look easy. But what you don’t see is

…our Q grader visiting the farms as the cherries blossom and grow.

JNP Coffee Q grader (at right) reviews sample cherry harvest with visitors.

…our quality control women on duty at wet mills to ensure the cherries meet our stringent standards before depulping. Inspecting in the daylight, not after dark. Working within tight timeframes to move the coffee cherries along to the dry mill.

Sorting cherries so only the best enter the washing process.

A visitor observes the wet mill at work.

…cherries picked over several times while drying to ensure they are processed at the right time and in the right way.

More sorting on raised African beds before the dry mill

…farmers at the dry mill, not first in line, but not last either. Their coffee parchment on machines that may break down, requiring a replacement part from a distant town. Undertaking another sorting to minimize defects prior to hermetically sealing them in GrainPro bags.

Dry mill factory in Ngozi

…And our Q grader’s lab staff in Bujumbura confirming consistently high quality.

Sampling latest harvest at JNP Coffee lab in Bujumbura

The logistics of moving multiple microlots of JNP Coffee are daunting. Criss-crossing my landlocked homeland in trucks and on roads, both in poor repair, requires patience and a mechanical mindset. Scheduling these journeys demands a local understanding of Burundi’s culture and ways of doing business.

Bags of coffee (at right) await transport from warehouse to port

Next stop, Dar-es-Salaam

I am proud to share with you the story of my own journey in the coffee world featured in the latest Barista magazine’s Master Q&A piece, “Redefining business-as-usual for Burundi coffee.”

We ensure the bags are delivered into one container, loaded on a ship in Dar-es-Salaam without delay in a tropical port, and transported across the seas to one of the coasts around the world.

This year’s harvest, only 35 percent of last year’s yield, is on its way to ports now. There’s a push to get all coffee out of Burundi and headed to you, so that your roastery will have your order by this holiday. With the support of the JNP Coffee team, the bags of high-scoring coffee are making the journey across the miles to our waiting guests.

If you would like to ensure a delivery from this year’s harvest, please get in touch with me at

Warmly, Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian Founder and owner, JNP Coffee

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