Burundi Long Miles Competition

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Over the years, several coffees have come from Long Miles Burundi, divided into specialty coffees and one that communicates something higher than simply specialty coffees. This Mutana micro-lot would be the latter of those two. This specific lot had only ~1300 lbs available.

 Switching back up mountainsides and across small, hand-built log bridges, visiting Heza Washing Station at 1960 Masl can be likened to an off-road adventure. To say Heza Washing Station is 'remote' would be an understatement, yet the community that lives in the surrounding hills is a special one, mostly of coffee farmers. Heza means 'beautiful place' in Kirundi, the local language of Burundi. With panoramic views and an ever-changing East African sky, this washing station lives up to its name.

 Heza is the second washing station built by Long Miles Coffee and has been operational since April 2014. The fantastic conditions in the Kayanza Province and the large number of ripe, dense cherries brought to the station have led the Long Miles team to focus on pioneering a sundried natural coffee initiative.

Heza was built at the foot of Gitwe Hill and has been producing coffee for six seasons. From here, the Rwandan border and the tips of the Kibira, Burundi's only indigenous rainforest, can be seen looming in the distance. The exceptionally high altitude, moderate climate, and proximity to the Kibira bring out the best in the coffee produced at the washing station. Each hill's micro-climates and the station's ideal conditions guarantee unique and exquisite notes in every cup.

 Heza processes its coffee by pumping spring water from a nearby natural spring. During the washed process, freshly harvested cherries are delivered by coffee farmers to the Long Miles Coffee Washing Station, then floated and hand-sorted for ripeness upon arrival. The cherries are pulped and undergo a double fermentation process. Parchment spends around twelve hours dry fermenting, then undergoes a twenty-four-hour wet fermentation. The parchment is sometimes 'footed' after fermentation. A team will agitate and dance on the slippery coffee parchment by foot, helping to loosen any remaining mucilage clinging to it. It is then rinsed in fresh water, graded by density, and left to soak for another four to six hours in the final rinse tank. 

 The parchment is then carried to covered drying tables, where it spends between six and forty-eight hours pre-drying. It is hand-sorted for under-ripeness, over-ripeness, insect damage, and visual defects during this time. Then, the coffee is moved to traditional African raised tables, where it spends between sixteen and twenty days of slow drying (depending on the weather), reaching the desired 10.5% moisture level.

 Nine coffee scouts, led by Asterie Nimbona, are responsible for farm-level quality control, farmer education, quality control during cherry selection, and organic composting at the washing station. There are three farmer reception and cherry collection officers, a team of ten women responsible for organic composting, fifty-four seasonal workers responsible for coffee fermentation and coffee production, and fifteen women devoted to extensive quality control and curation of the coffee parchment.

It is savory with super sweet, bright citrus acidity. Complex and rounded. Extremely balanced flavors of lemon, lime, and sparkling soda.

This coffee is a must-try from the Long Miles selection and the epitome of the potential of the Heza wash station.

 The coffee is a light roast to bring out its full potential and experience its unique and lovely bright acidity.


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