It isn't easy to express how much we love coffees from the Heza washing station, and this lot from Nkonge Hill is consistently one of our favorites. In the cup we find a traditional red tea profile, along with blood orange, blackberry, and mulling spices.
Hand-picked at peak ripeness. Floated and hand sorted to further remove defects; depulped on the day of harvest. Double-fermented dry for 12 hours, then 24 hours submerged in water. Rinsed in fresh water. Density graded. Dried on traditional African raised beds for 16-20 days until moisture content reaches 10.5%.
Coffees from the Heza washing station and Nkonge Hill are easily the most remote ones we work with in Burundi. Most people living in this region are coffee farmers, as the elevation, cooler micro-climates, and proximity to the Kibira National Park make it an exceptional place to produce unique, high-density, expressive coffees.
Varieties in Burundi are not exactly straightforward. We know that Red Bourbon and Mibirizi are being cultivated; however, we don't know at what relative percentages. Based on the history of production in Burundi there is also most likely some SL34 being grown as well.
The Long Miles Coffee Project is the dream-become-reality of Ben and Kristy Carlson. The pair moved to Burundi in 2011 with a simple dream: Help coffee growers by helping roasters source consistently high quality coffees from Burundi. Their dream has grown from working with fifty coffee growers in 2013 to working with more than 5,500 at present. Long Miles has been extremely effective in helping to actualize Burundi’s natural potential for extremely high quality coffee, while also making an incredible impact socially, economically, and environmentally. Coffees from this project are some of our most anticipated of the year, and we are humbled and honored continue supporting their inspiring work.
The cost of getting a coffee from cherry to beverage varies enormously depending on its place of origin and the location of its consumption. The inclusion of price transparency is a starting point to inform broader conversation around the true costs of production and the sustainability of specialty coffee as a whole.