Last batch, roasted: 06/04/21
A rich and wild natural lot from producers in the Long Miles Farmer Field School programme
- Strawberry, Mango, Passionfruit
- Producer: Bukeye FFS Farmers
- Region: Kayanza
- Altitude: 1900 masl
- Varietal: Bourbon
- Process: Natural
- Harvest: May 2020
- Optimal brew beyond: Filter 7 days | Espresso 21 days.
- RRP for 250 g: 147 kr.
- RRP for 1 kg: 552 kr.
About the coffee:
The Long Miles Project, founded by Ben and Kristy Carlson, opened its doors in 2013 and aims to raise the bar of specialty coffees coming out of Burundi. The project works with more than 4.500 individual coffee farmers living near two central washing stations, Bukeye, opened in 2013 and Heza, from 2014. There are several reasons why producing speciality coffee in Burundi is an incredibly difficult task. There’s the incredibly unstable political situation, where government can change rules on coffee prices and production seemingly overnight, the geographical constraints that come with being a small landlocked country attempting to export coffee by sea freight, the constant threat of military coup. But through it all the Carlson family have managed to establish themselves as producers and exporters of consistently delicious coffees, all the while providing some semblance of stability to the lives of smallholder farmers that surround their two washing stations in the northern Kayanza Province, near the border with Rwanda. Burundi is a very rural country, with only 13% of the population living in urban areas. Of this rural population, many are smallholder farmers, mainly subsistence with a small production of cash crops, such as coffee. This means that the support provided to these populations by projects like Long Miles is of great importance, and we feel committed to support their work in any way we can.
Climate change has had an effect on this year’s harvest in Burundi, with conditions straying wildy from established weather patterns. There was a great deal of rain during the flowering season, destroying some of the delicate coffee blossom, and a lack of rain during the ripening season led to reduced yield compared to projections. However, the 2020 harvest was much more successful than an incredibly difficult 2019, with yields up and logistics less disturbed. This lack of stability can be negated somewhat by using careful and deliberate farming techniques, leading to more resilient and better yielding plants. This is why Long Miles established the Farmer Field School programme, in order to support smallholders in better agronomic practice. The Long Miles coffee scouts, employed at each hill to support the smallholders based there, have planted Field Schools, model farms where anyone can practice farming techniques, ask questions and learn. The producers who make use of the schools are therefore informed on better mulching techniques and pruning techniques, among other natural methods to improve yield and resilience.
This lot is from several hills surrounding the Bukeye station, but has been put together exclusively by producers who participate in the Farmer Field School programme. This should lead to a higher quality of incoming cherry, important for a top quality natural, as there are less opportunities to sort than in a washed process. Coffees destined for natural processing are first painstakingly hand sorted by the team at Heza, as once the cherries begin to dry and blacken, it is very difficult to spot any defective seeds. The cherries are then transferred to raised drying beds and dried slowly for around 30 days, allowing the typical berry notes to soften into a jammy character, complemented by wild tropical fruit and intense sweetness.