Burundi is best known as the “Land of A Thousand Hills”. High plateaus dominate the landscape. The plateaus form a unique shape of “rolling” mountains. These green slopes are not only home to some of Burundi’s finest coffee trees, but also to elephants, hippos, buffalos and crocodiles. Despite these natural beauties, Burundi remains one of the poorest countries with globally the largest share of rural population. In 2013, Ben and Kristy Carlson decided to make this place also their home and founded the Long Miles Coffee Estate. Inspired by the potential of creating better living conditions for the communities through improved coffee cultivation, they gathered smallholder coffee farmers and started building their first washing station. Nowadays, they work together with more than 5,000 and have built several wet mills. This coffee resembles a collection from several washing stations in the network of Long Miles from North Burundi. The farmers are supported by 26 so called “Coffee Scouts” that also live within the growing communities. Led by a few agronomists, these scouts continuously improve their knowledge on agricultural techniques to improve coffee cultivation. As they stem from the same communities, the farmers tend to be a bit more open to the scouts’ opinions leading to a true exchange on the field. Over the past years, this program has gone beyond the expectations as farmers and scouts have occasionally also become friends and strengthen the communities also through youth empowerment programs and a generally higher level of engagement. Their ambition for excellence is well reflected in this very fresh and yet balanced cup of coffee.
Michele’ suggestion: I was surprised by this coffee for its complexity, acidity and at the same time its sensorial balance. This is a cup to try and discover, which I suggest you sincerely.