|Heza - Mikuba
Long Miles Coffee Project
is simply an incredible story of passion and devotion. Ben and Kristy Carlson, originally from the U.S., decided to move to Burundi with their kids to start an ambitious coffee project in the highlands of Kayanza region (read the full story here). After spending some time in this beautiful but extremely difficult country, you realize, what it really takes to be a white foreigner and run a coffee business here. Ben owns three washing stations (Hez, Ninga and Bukeye - map), which currently buy and process coffee cherries from more than 4500 families.
In Burundi, each hill (colline) is its own geopolitical unit, consisting of approx. 60-140 families. You will find different coffees named after the hills they come from, i.e. Mikuba, Nkonge, Gitwe. They are all situated in the proximity of the washing stations since the farmers usually delivery the coffee by foot. During the season, small farmers bring their freshly picked cherries to the station, where they are first inspected by the Long Miles team. Once accepted, the cherries are floated to separate unripes, weighted and processed using either fully washed, natural or honey method.
Our lot is fully washed bourbon variety. First, freshly picked and delivered cherries are floated in water tanks to separate unripes, then they are pulped and fermented in concrete tanks without water for 12 hours. After this time, cold water is added for another 12 hours and finally the beans covered with sticky mucilage are "footed" for approx. 20 minutes by the mill workers (see video below). Then they are rinsed, graded and moved to two-tier beds and dried for 27 days.