This is a beauty! It's been a while since we had a Burundi coffee at the Roastery, and it's been worth the wait. This Long Miles Estate Bourbon has a lovely bright acidity, as you'd expect from a top class African coffee, with a grape & melon character and a deliciously moreish sweet finish.
The densely populated east African state of Burundi borders Rwanda, Congo, Tanzania and lake Tanganyika. It is mountainous land with high plateau and a tropical climate. The economy is predominantly agricultural with roughly 90% of the population dependent on subsistence agriculture. Economic growth depends on coffee and tea exports, which account for 90% of foreign exchange earnings.
Following 15 years of conflict, a recent peace accord has ended the internal conflict and the economy is recovering already. Recent liberalisation of the coffee sector is allowing access to some excellent traceable fully washed arabicas.
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.