Behind the Coffee:  A Closer Look at JNP Coffee in Burundi

Behind the Coffee: A Closer Look at JNP Coffee in Burundi

Featured Image from JNP Coffee

For the month of June, we're serving a delicious coffee grown by members of the Burundi chapter of the IWCA in the Busiga region in the Ngozi province, processed at the Karehe washing station, and roasted by Jen Apodaca of Mother Tongue Coffee in Oakland, CA. 

In other words, this coffee was grown, imported, and roasted by women and, at Sightsee, will almost exclusively be brewed by women. From "crop to cup" it represents everything we love about operating a coffee shop and about the potential of the industry at large. It is a privilege to offer this coffee to our customers and we consider it our duty to give it the attention it deserves. 

Mother Tongue Coffee Karehe Burundi

We'll share more about Jen and Mother Tongue in a separate post, so for now let's take a closer look at the coffee itself. To do that, we need to start with Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian. Jeanine grew up in a family of coffee producers in Burundi - in the exact province where this coffee is from, no less. She went on to earn an MBA from Northwestern University and spent 20+ years in international business. That path ultimately led her home to Burundi where she founded JNP Coffee, a pioneering organization that sources exceptional, small-lot coffees with a particular focus on women's co-ops in partnership with the local chapter of the International Women's Coffee Alliance (IWCA).

The coffee we're serving this month represents the literal fruits of her labor. Most coffee producers in Burundi only have a small number of trees, so JNP Coffee coordinated with a remarkable 200+ women in Ngozi province to deliver their best cherries to the Karehe washing station for processing. In this case, the coffee followed a "triple washed" process by which the cherries were floated prior to pulping, fermenting, washing, and soaking before drying on raised beds until the moisture level reached 11 percent. JNP Coffee is also exported the coffee to the United States where it was purchased by Mother Tongue from Royal Coffee in California.

Burundi Provinces Ngozi Highlighted

Map Image thanks to Burundi Friends International

We have thoroughly enjoyed the delightful spectrum of flavors this coffee delivers. We experience an overall earthy sweetness with particular notes of fig jam and pomelo without overbearing acidity. That's just the beginning, really. We detect something new in every cup and would love to hear your notes as well!

 Special shout out to Royal Coffee for doing such an impressively thorough job researching and documenting this coffee on their site. Thanks also to Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian, JNP Coffee, and the IWCA for your incredible impact in the industry. Cheers!

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