We at J&N are proud to have bought coffee from Long Miles Coffee in Burundi since 2014. When founders Ben & Kristy Carlson moved to Burundi in 2011, they saw both injustices and poor agricultural practices that dominated the country's coffee industry. They also saw that roasteries around the world had a hard time getting consistently good coffee from Burundi. As an initiative for positive change for both farmers and coffee roasters, the Long Miles Coffee Project was born.

At the roastery, we simply call them "Long Miles". We have worked closely with them since the beginning and know each other very well by now. After each harvest, we get a lot of samples based on our discussions during the year, and what they think may appeal to us. There are always many good coffees, and we always find something or some that we like a little extra!


Coffee producers in Burundi have often had a long and demanring journey on foot to be able to deliver their coffee. They have then previously chosen to sell their coffee cherries at a very low price to someone who has been able to pick it up. In the inaccessible and extremely rural landscape of northern Burundi, proximity to producers has therefore been very important for Long Miles.

In 2013, the first washing station Bukeye was built. It is located at the foot of the Gaharo hill and the same people who helped build it, today deliver coffee there. During the construction, they were surprised by the interest from the producers. Working scales and fair payment meant that the interest from coffee farmers far exceeded the capacity of the small washing station. Therefore, in 2014 the second washing station, Heza, was built.

Long Miles also has its own small coffee farm, Gitwe, near Heza. The idea of the farm is to show the other producers in the area how to best run a coffee farm. Here you show how to best increase your harvest, fight diseases and insect infestations and raise your quality. In 2020, we bought a lot from Gitwe, a deliciously washed coffee with flavors of peach, black currant, and green tea.

Another initiative to increase the quality of coffee and the motivation of producers is the Farmer Field Schools project, which was started in 2015. The idea is that the farmers being part of the project will get model farms, and in turn spread the knowledge further to nearby farmers. Long Miles walked around to the farmers on the different hills and invited them to join. The only criteria was to cultivate coffee. The participants were trained, for example, in how to prune trees, composting, weed management, fertilization and pest control. Long Miles separated lots from these producers for the first time in 2020 (and we were lucky enough to purchase a wonderful washed coffee with flavors of raspberry, white grapefruit and papaya). The expectation with the project is partly to make more producers feel pride and commitment in their coffee farming, but above all to make the cultivations more sustainable, both agriculturally and economically.

Today, Long Miles operates three washing stations in Burundi; Bukeye, Heza and Ninga. The construction of Ninga was initiated in 2017 to get closer to even more producers. The washing station means that the 2,000 coffee farmers around the Ninga hill do not have to walk as far to deliver their coffee cherries. The time between harvest on the farm and processing at the washing station is also shortened, which helps to increase the quality of the coffee. Due to bureaucratic obstacles, however, construction could not start until 2020, but it was completed by the 2021 harvest. Our coffee Burundi Ninga was among the very first lots of dried coffee produced there !!

Read more about Long Miles, and their other projects in both Uganda and Kenya, on their website or check out their Instagram @longmilescoffee filled with beautiful photos and incredibly nice coffee content!