Barista Magazine

AUG-SEP 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian REDEFINING BUSINESS-AS-USUAL FOR BURUNDI COFFEE By Ever Meister MASTER "I KNOW I TALK VERY FAST—my mother tells my friends that I speak fast in all languages," laughs Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian into the phone, where she's called from her home in Massachu- setts. (Jeanine speaks fi ve languages). It's true, she is an animated and captivating conversational- ist and speaker, but that's not the only reason she's hard to keep up with: Jeanine is also a true force of forward momentum in specialty coffee, and she hardly seems to take a moment's rest. She is an entrepreneur and a businesswoman as the owner, founder, and president of JNP Coffee, specializ- ing in developing the specialty trade in her home country of Burundi. She is a philanthropist who founded the nonprofi t Burundi Friends Interna- tional, focusing on offering educational opportuni- ties and fi nancial literacy for Burundians in their home country. She is an expert coffee taster with her Q-grader certifi cate, and she's been newly ap- pointed as the fi rst Northeast regional coordinator for the Specialty Coffee Association's U.S. chapter. Those are just the work-related bullet points, and they barely scratch the surface. We recently caught up with Jeanine during a rare break in her duties and travels. (She had just come back from a long trip to Burundi, but you'd never know it—she is all energy!) Barista Magazine: We always love to hear about coffee people's young lives, and we're curious what your life was like when you were growing up— you were born in Burundi, right? Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian: Yes, I was born and raised in Burundi, in the city Bujumbura, and went to primary school there, graduated from high school, and then I came to the U.S. Literally after graduation I came to Nebraska to go to college. 99 www.baristamagazine.com

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