The Roastery & Cafe
COOP: NINGA WASHING STATION
LOCATION: NINGA, KAYANZA, BURUNDI
ALTITUDE: 1800-2000 MASL
PROCESS: ANAEROBIC HONEY
Tasting Notes: Dried Apricot, Raisin, Black Tea, Palm Sugar
Long Miles Coffee Project is the result of the work of Ben and Kristy Carlson. They moved to Burundi in 2011 with the hope of improving farming conditions and practices while providing a way for roasters around the world to source and roast delicious coffees from Burundi. Now, 12 years later, they’ve established a remarkable operation in this east African country. In their first coffee season, they worked with 50 farmers to source and create micro-lots. Now, they work with more than 5,500 farmers on twelve unique hills. Long Miles centers their efforts around two main goals -
First, the farmers who grow coffee on the twelve hills Long Miles works with get year round agricultural assistance through one of their twenty-six Long Miles Coffee Scouts who are all well trained junior agronomists. Their Coffee Scouts, most of whom originated from the hills they work on, help farmers to understand and implement better farming practices, which increases both the quality and the yield of the coffee cherries. They also have their own coffee farms within these communities, these farms serve as “model farms” that show farmers first hand the improved yields they can expect from proper farm care and from planting indigenous shade trees.
Secondly, they do the simplest and best thing they can do for coffee farmers in Burundi - at their washing stations they pay higher prices for coffee cherries as well as annual premiums.
This anaerobic honey processed lot comes from Ninga Hill. Two rivers and a province border lie between Bukeye Washing Station and the hills of Ninga. The community is far beyond the reach of electricity. Even the glass bottles of coca-cola that usually find their way into tiny roadside shops are difficult to find on Ninga. Coffee trees occupy any space they can on this hill from the edge of the single track dirt paths that weave through the hills to the doorsteps of farmers’ selfmade mud brick houses. With every violent conflict that has broken out in Burundi, Ninga farmers have scattered into the surrounding hills and forest areas with no established place of refuge to run to. During these times the coffee trees have gone into hibernation mode, waiting for their owners to return.
Many decades later, farmers return home and try to combat the effects that years of neglect have had on their land. Yet, Ninga hill produces elegant and complex coffees, with flavors that are layered and not at all muddled. Our commitment to working more closely with this hill has never been stronger. Ninga hill is the site of what will become the third Long Miles Coffee washing station. LM bought a piece of land 10km from the Bukeye Washing Station, flanked by the Nkokoma river. This year, they cleared the land and constructed traditional African raised drying tables in hope of seeing Ninga Washing Station built to completion in time for the next coffee harvest.