Photo by : Long Miles Coffee Project
Variety : Red Bourbon
Process : Red Honey
Washing Station : Heza (Long Miles Coffee Project)
Location : Gitwe Hill, Kayanza
Altitude (masl) : 1850 – 2057m
Harvest season: April to June
Harvest method: Hand picking
Flavor Notes: gooseberry, earl grey, bergamot, honey, juicy mouthfeel
Our Burundian coffee comes from an amazing farmer focused initiative called Long Miles Coffee Project. It’s processed at the Long Miles’ second washing station named Heza which means ‘beautiful place’ in Kirundi. Heza sits almost 2 kilometres above sea level and overlooks the Kibira rainforest on the border between Burundi and Rwanda. The exceptional altitudes and close proximity to rainforest bring out the best in the coffees. The individual micro-climates of each surrounding hill as well as the ideal conditions on the washing station guarantee unique notes in every cup.
Heza has a total of 2500 farmers delivering coffee and over 150 employees to produce the best quality coffee possible. One team that is responsible for cherry selection, quality monitoring, farmer reception and coffee production. And another team that consists mostly of women is devoted to extensive quality control and artisanal curation of coffee parchment.
Heza is a place of innovation. For instance they have pioneered a Sun dried Natural coffee initiative abled by the stations fantastic conditions and the amount of ripe, dense cherries brought there. They have also introduced Burundi’s first honey processed coffees.
Due to the Long Miles’ six hour pick-to-process quality timing mark coffee cherries arriving to the station get straight into processing. Cherries are washed with mineral water from two springs which channel rainforest water down the hills to the station. The unique ‘bowl’ location of the station helps the drying process since it provides natural air circulation and helps to control drying time. They also use tables that designed to range in length and level and there fore help to regulate drying times. Coffee spends around 20-30 days slow-drying on these tables to reach the optimal moisture levels. Heza also has it’s own coffee tree nursery with over 15.000 young trees. Eventually they hope to begin replacing Burundi’s war-torn landscape and invest in the future of quality coffee.
Long Miles Coffee Project
Ben and Kristy Carlson who founded the Long Miles Coffee Project are not only passionate about quality coffee but also about caring for the well-being of the farmers. Their dream was to facilitate direct relationships between roasters and farmers, and as a result better the quality of coffee and the lives of the farmers. After a while of sourcing coffee around Burundi the Carlson’s decided to build their own washing station as that seemed like the only way to gain control over the coffee quality and the processing as well as making sure the farmers get good compensation for all their hard work.
Read more about the Long Miles Coffee Project on their website!