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As a trained engineer, Cassien Nibaruta planned, designed and built the Gaterama Washing Station in 2016. Named after the mountain on which it was built, the washing station is located in the province of Gitega at altitudes of 1800m. With the construction of the Gaterama Washing Station, Cassien pursued his goal of exclusively producing high-quality coffee and working closely with local farmers who grow coffee on small plantations with up to 200 trees. 

The great effort Cassien put into building the Gaterama Washing Station is noticeable. Everything was thought out down to the last detail. There are two main houses. One of the houses is used as a storage space. The second serves as a pick-up station for the cherries, there is also a pulper and an office to collect data for traceability. Cassien has developed his own system to ensure 100% traceability and secure collection of data.

The pulper is used to remove the pulp from the bean. On raised drying beds, the cherries are pre-sorted and then dried with or without the pulp. Cassien also built a floating tank. With the help of the floater, unripe cherries can be sorted out by hand. A well supplies the washing station with fresh groundwater, which is cleaned after use by a filtration system before it drains into the nearby Mubarazi River.

On our trip to Burundi and Rwanda last year, we had the chance to visit Cassien and gain an impression of the Gaterama Washing Station. We have gotten to know him as an innovative and extremely adventuresome individual, who processes high quality coffee in the most professional manner. His coffees convince with their distinct acidity and good body. They are complex coffees and of strong character. Their notes of herbs make them stand out.



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