Over the past few months you have probably heard a lot about our new partnership with The Long Miles Coffee Project. Under the leadership of its founder, Ben Carlson, the Long Miles Coffee Project works in the African country of Burundi, one of the poorest nations in the world, to build trust with local farmers, help them improve their agricultural practices, and get the most for their truly exceptional coffee beans.
Through this partnership the Coffee Hound will be offering two coffees, a Burundi Washed and a Burundi Natural. Our Burundi Washed, with its hints of chocolate and herb and citrus tastes, is from the Buckeye region of Burundi where it is grown on the new Musumba Hill and processed at The Long Miles Coffee Project’s first washing station in the village of Buckeye near the Kibira rainforest. First opened in April of 2013, the Buckeye Washing Station now serves as a place of hope and innovation. Currently, the Buckeye Washing Station employs 160 local employees, including an agronomist, a team of coffee scouts, several composters, multiple quality control specialists, and a fermentation chief, among many others. Together they work to ensure the farming and processing of some of Burundi’s finest coffee. They assist farmers in implementing proper post-harvest pruning, mulching, and fertilization procedures and oversee the rinsing, fermentation, and drying of their coffee beans. Additionally, those at the Buckeye Washing Station work to develop organic pesticides to combat the antestia bug, responsible for the potato defect known to plague East African coffees.
As for our Burundi Natural, this coffee is grown on the Nkonge Hill before being taken to the remote Heza Washing Station to be processed. The Heza Washing Station, whose name translates from the native language of Kirundi as “Beautiful Place”, overlooks the Kibira rainforest and is surrounded by the land of the local coffee farmers. At present, the Heza Washing Station employs 90 people from the region, including a fermentation chief and numerous specialists in cherry selection and quality control. Once beans arrive at the Heza Washing Station, they are slow dried for 20-30 days to maximize the quality of their coffee’s lush body, and flavors of raspberry syrup, strawberry, and cream cream soda.