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Mutara Hill, Burundi


Expect notes of orange blossom, grapefruit, blackberry and black tea when roasted for filter; Anticipate marmalade, clove and honey flavours when roasted for espresso

Size: 500g

Producer: Cafex, with local small-scale producers

Varieties: Bourbon

Process: Washed

Elevation: 1,450-1,750 masl



IKAWA means coffee in Kirundi, which is the language of Burundi. The people in Burundi are highly dependant on coffee – and this is where Founder Andrew grew up and the IKAWA concept was born.

Cafex was started by a Belgian-Burundian couple that wanted to combine the coffee production of their ancestral lands with sustainable development. Through the operation of the Mutara washing and processing station, Cafex works with local small scale producers to produce high quality and uniform coffee for export. The small-scale producers work all day to handpick their coffee cherries and deliver their daily harvest to the washing station from sunset onwards. Cafex pays these producer partners on a weekly basis, with no delay, which allows for more constant income through the harvest season.

The town where the Mutara washing station is located is very rural with little development. The Mutara washing station affords for employment for residents of the town. A job at the washing station gives them a better salary, an opportunity to improve the quality of their family’s life. Families who have a seasonal job at the washing station have the opportunity to receive an extra income that gives them access to medical care or allows them to buy books in order to send their children to school.

At the washing station, all workers give the freshly harvested coffee their greatest care, processing the daily harvest through the night once the day’s harvest has been received. Ripe cherries are selected from daily pickings and then submerged in a water tank in order to sort the coffee cherries. The densest, highest quality coffee cherries will sink to the bottom, whereas the lesser quality coffee cherries will float on the surface. The densest cherries are then pulped, dry-fermented for 14 hours and thoroughly washed to remove all the remaining fruit. The coffee is then dried on raised beds, first in the shade and then in full sunlight for a total of around 20 days. The coffee is carefully turned throughout the day to maintain a consistent drying process.