This coffee comes from the hill Gitwe in northern Burundi. A wonderfully sweet and fruity coffee with crisply clean flavours of blackberry, nectarine and caramel.
The coffee is produced by Long Miles Coffee Project which is run by Ben & Kristy Carlson. They moved to Burundi in 2011 and saw that both injustice and poor farming practices flowed through the country's coffee industry. They also saw that roasters around the world had a hard time getting consistently good coffee from Burundi. In an endeavour to see a positive change in both farmers’ and roasters’ lives, Long Miles Coffee was born.
In recent years, Long Mile's challenges have gone from difficult to positive. For three years in a row the yield was extremely low, but in 2022 they turned it around and thanks to their hard and meticulous work they got a fantastic harvest with lots of high-quality coffee. Suddenly the challenge was to take care of all the coffee cherries at the washing station instead. A very welcome problem.
Thanks to our Christmas campaign where SEK 10 per kilo Christmas coffee we sold went directly to a project where we put solar cells on the roof of the Heza washing station, next year's post-harvest work will be even more efficient!
At the roastery, we simply call them "Long Miles". We have worked closely with them since 2014 and know each other very well by now. At harvest, they always send a lot of samples based on our discussions throughout the year and what they think may appeal to us. There are always a lot of good coffees and some that really stands out in a crowd.
Gitwe hill is bursting with life and movement. Thanks to the hard work of its coffee scouts who train the farmers, Long Miles has managed to make a change. Together, by planting shade trees, proper pruning, composting and using natural fertilizers, they slowly have improved the condition of the small farms. Now the farmers know that the more they invest in their farms, the more they will get paid for their coffee.
Heza washing station is located right next to the coffee farms which means that the producers no longer have to make long journeys by foot to distant washing stations, nor sell their crop at a low price to have someone come pick it up. Today, 637 farmers from Gitwe deliver coffee to the nearby washing station Heza - and get paid well for the high quality they produce!
Burundi Gitwe is processed using the Honey method which means that the beans are dried in their mucilage. The first step is sorting out all cherries that are not perfectly ripe through so-called density-sorting, also called ‘floating’. As the term reveals, water is used as both unripe and overripe cherries float to the surface faster than the perfectly ripe ones and can be easily picked off.
After that, further sorting is done by hand, before the skin and most of the pulp is removed from the cherry in a machine called a ‘pulper’. However, the innermost part of the pulp, the mucilage, remains on the bean. This is also what gave the process the name honey as it is golden in colour, sweet in taste and sticky to the touch.
Now you can either let the coffee continue to dry or, as Long Miles has done here, place the coffee in sealed in containers after harvest, creating an environment with reduced oxygen. The coffee was stirred every 12 hours, and after 72 hours, the coffee was put on the drying tables. This is a textbook example on how to process coffee to enhance the flavours of the coffee rather than altering it. The beans have had the full opportunity to absorb the sugar from the mucilage and we can enjoy a wonderfully juicy cup of Burundi Gitwe.
Name: Burundi Gitwe
Producer: Long Miles Coffee
Altitude: 1900 m
Variety: Red Bourbon
Flavour: Blackberry, Nectarine, Caramel
LONG MILES COFFEE PROJECT
A TRIO FROM BURUNDI
Being able to offer a coffee from Long Miles Coffee in Burundi, with whom we have a long and close relationship, always feels super fun and exciting. I bet you can imagine the feeling when we now release three coffees from there at the same time – pure bliss! The coffees come from three different hills and after harvest they are all gathered at the Heza washing station, where they are processed with three different post-harvest methods. Another thing that connects them all is an amazing clarity and juiciness with vibrant fruity flavours.