Cafex was launched by a Belgian-Burundian couple that wanted to combine the coffee production of their ancestral lands with sustainable development and a desire to improve the lives of the local population. Cafex has developed a profitable business model for all parties based on mutual participation with growers. The town where the washing station is located is undeveloped and the presence of the Cafex station has provided people with better paying jobs and a better quality of life. Families who have a seasonal job 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. Whereas many coffee producers have to wait many months to receive final payment for their harvest, Cafex has introduced a weekly payment to growers, with no delay. This allows them to have a regular income throughout the harvest coffee season.
During colonization, Belgians forced the people of Burundi to grow coffee to pay taxes, an all too familiar story. So, it is understandable that after independence, the farmers of Burundi were less than enthusiastic about growing coffee and there was almost no focus on quality. When world coffee prices dropped to historic lows 20 years ago, prices paid to farmers by government run washing stations were so low that coffee was smuggled into neighboring countries to be sold as Rwandan or Tanzanian coffee. When prices began to rise and become relatively stable, Burundi coffee farmers in the northern highlands did not forget that Rwanda received better prices for quality. The coffee farmers of Burundi began to emulate some of what was happening in Rwanda, forming cooperatives and seeking ways to improve quality.
One clear indicator of a focus on quality is an increase in washing stations in a country where transportation is a challenge. The closer a washing station is to coffee trees, the greater control over quality and micro-climate specific separations. Burundi has seen a significant increase in the number of washing station over the last ten years and in recent years internal economic structures have liberalized enough for growers to experience increased income for increased quality. The cool highlands, soil, and altitude are ideal for growing excellent coffee.
Elevation: 1700+ MASL
Tasting notes: Balanced yet bright with yellow nectarine, tangerine, and black raspberry.
Website orders are roasted and packed every Monday and picked up Tuesday by USPS for delivery. As we only roast exactly as much of each coffee as we have known orders for, please be sure and place your order no later than 10 AM (PST) on Monday for fulfillment that week. Orders that come in later than that may not be fulfilled until the following week.
Here is a quick guide to what our shipping rates are based on the quantity you order:
Orders weighing 0 - 7.99 Pounds ship for $7.00.
Orders weighing 8 Pounds or more ship for Free!
(If you live in the Seattle area and would like to know where you can find Velton's Coffee locally, check out our handy guide!)
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