7th Burundi Cup of Excellence held

August saw the 7th edition of the Cup of Excellence (COE) competition held in Burundi, East Africa, with Natural coffees reaching the auction for the first time.

Coffee washing station owners submitted 131 samples of Bourbon variety coffees from 11 provinces across Burundi, and 23 coffees from five provinces were selected to go to the COE internet auction on 19 September. This year was the first time a Natural processed coffee has made it to the COE Auction.

COE head judge, Stephen Vick said: “This year’s Burundi Cup of Excellence brought amazing quality and an ever-expanding range of flavor profiles. Burundian coffees have always been known for their wide range of fruit complexity and sweetness. This year was no different as we tasted classic washed Bourbon flavors of orange, peach, fresh fig, honey, brown sugar and hibiscus.

“With the addition of some naturally processed coffees into this year’s competition (including first place) those fruit flavors expanded even more with strawberry, cantaloupe and papaya notes. I look forward to seeing what flavors Burundi has yet to uncover in years to come.”

Nolan Hirte from Proud Mary in Australia and the USA said: “Attending COE is like my reset for coffee. It helps me stay connected and inspired by this incredible industry we work in. Burundi COE took that concept to another level again this year. Such a humbling place with such beautiful people working so hard for what they have, producing exceptional coffees.

“This year the national jury selected five natural lots in the top 40, two of which made it in to the top 10. This was so exciting to see another side of what Burundi can offer. There was the classic bright and juicy apricot coming from the washed bourbon with loud berry notes and that sparkling acidity…delicious.

Contrasted with the depth of the naturals with big tropical fruits ranging from pink to orange, like guava and mango and watermelon. So excited for Burundi and what is to come.”

Coffee washing station Gatukuza took first place with a 90.13, which was the only coffee to score 90 and above by the international jury. The winning coffee was a Natural processed Bourbon from the province of Ngozi.

In second place was a Washed Bourbon, which came from the region of Kayanza from coffee washing station Gitwenge with a score of 89.92. Karinzi coffee washing station scored 89.43 for the third rank from the region Kayanza with a washed Bourbon.

For the full list of Burundi competition winners follow the link.

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