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Ephrem Sebatigita

Burundi

Ephrem Sebatigita is a third-generation coffee producer whose family began growing coffee in Burundi in 1938. After studying electrical engineering in France, he returned home and officially began his career in 1984, working for the Burundi Office of Coffee (OCIBU). From that moment on he has dedicated his life to coffee, working in various sectors of the industry from production and exporting to consulting and education. 

After running numerous dry mills and washing stations in both the government and private sectors and serving on the board of the African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA), Ephrem co-founded his own export company, Coffee Belt East Africa, in 2019. He is also the owner and general manager of Munkaze washing station, a wet mill in Kayanza Province, where he processes both fully washed and sun-dried natural coffees from around 500 local farms, including his own family’s. Slow dried on raised beds at around 1,800 meters, the mostly Bourbon-type coffees range in profile from delicate and floral to ripe and juicy.

In addition to his amazing work in coffee production, Ephrem is a dedicated educator and consultant working to help the members of his community and others improve their livelihoods through increased quality and added value. He received his Q Grader certification in 2010 and became further involved with the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) through their Q Processing program. He is a Level 3 Processing Expert (one of only a few dozen in the world) and also an instructor in the Levels 1 and 2 programs. In 2023, he was awarded CQI’s Instructor of the Year Award at the World of Coffee event in Athens, Greece. 

Ephrem’s wealth of experience in business combined with his passion for education and quality have made him one East Africa’s leading figures in specialty coffee and one of the world’s top coffee producers.

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Burundi Munkaze

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