Burundi June 2012
Burundi is not a very well known coffee origin, but, since 2009, we have had some excellent coffees from this beautiful tiny country in the heart of Africa. Last year, however, was a large setback. For those of you waiting and waiting for a Burundi offering, we were all disappointed when we only released 300 lbs of a microlot Kiryama.

Long story short, everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong last year. Samples and tasting took forever to approve, coffee was moved to a wrong warehouse, documents took forever to get signed, coffee sat too long at port and in warehouses, bad jute bags contributed to bad flavors, and the list goes on. When our coffee arrived last year, the flavors were no longer good enough to sell, and everyone at Counter Culture was greatly disappointed. This also led us to have no African offerings whatsoeverfor 2 months! The first time this has ever happened here.

After such a setback, we had two options. Option one was to take the loss and get out. Burundi is still in a development phase for specialty coffee and the risks for the foreseeable future are going to be great – so we had to ask ourselves if we could keep investing in something that may end up not working again? Option two, was to work smarter and faster and change things up.

What did we decide? Well, if you know us, there was no question as to which option we chose.

My trip this past week was all about getting things moving and done as fast as humanly possible, and to make sure that what happened last year never happens again.

How was my week? To find you are just going to have to read on.

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