This is Huckleberry's fifth year working with the Long Miles Coffee Project in the Muramvya province of Burundi, and our third year roasting a natural-processed fruitbomb from Gitwe hill.
Unlike our other Long Miles coffees and prior years of Gitwe Natural, this lot does not come from the numerous smallholder farms on Gitwe, but from Long Miles' new model farm on the top of the hill. This farm is still a community effort, but is meant to be a place where the Carlson family can model best practices and try experiments that might be too costly or expensive for one of the group's member farmers to undertake on their own. This particular lot comes from the 32nd day of the 2017 harvest.
Naturals - which are dried in the coffee cherry instead of washed of their fruit first - are tough to produce well, and easy to mess up. It was actually illegal to export naturals from Burundi until just a few years ago. Luckily for us, Long Miles began experimenting before legalization, and the naturals from Gitwe have been a home run.
We've been loving our washed lot from Gitwe, and this natural lot is a banger, too. It bursts with the juicy strawberry we've come to expect from the best Ethiopian naturals, but also packs some of the hallmarks of our favorite washed Burundis. We taste a bit of sweet-savory complexity, honey, and bubblegum flavors to complement the fruit-forward strawberry and melon sweetness.View full product details
It kinda makes us feel old to say it, but this is the fifth year in a row that Huckleberry has roasted coffees from the Long Miles Coffee Project in Burundi. Each year the coffees seem to get better.
To be honest, the first year with Long Miles was rough. Three years ago Colline Ninga raised the bar, and two years ago both Colline Ninga washed and Gitwe Natural were excellent. This is the second year we’ll bring a triple threat of three great coffees from these growers in the hills (collines, in French) of Burundi's Muramvya province. We'll roll out another washed lot from Colline Ninga and a natural from Gitwe a bit later this winter, but first up is a delicious washed coffee from growers on the Gitwe hill.
Burundi has produced coffee for quite some time, but the country's progression towards producing high quality specialty coffee was interrupted in the 1990s and early 2000s by political unrest and ethnic violence, some of which spilled over the border from Rwanda during and after that country's genocide. Despite the continued threat of political instability, and the challenges of being a poor, landlocked country, farmers from Burundi are successfully improving their coffee each and every year, and specialty coffee's higher prices seem to have a major impact on quality of life in the country's coffee growing regions. Moreover, we love the flavors of a great coffee from Burundi.
The Long Miles Coffee Project was founded by Ben and Kristy Carlson, an American couple living in Burundi. Upon seeing the difficulties Muramvya farmers faced while Ben was working as a coffee trader, the Carlsons built two washing stations in the region, and have worked with area farmers to help them fetch better prices. By working with the farmers to develop stringent quality practices at the farm level, then washing and milling the coffee with meticulous care, Long Miles is able to ensure that the coffee is of the highest quality possible. By working with Huckleberry and other roasters who commit to coffees before they've shipped from Burundi, the Long Miles Coffee Project is able to pay the farmers a higher price for their coffee than they would receive on the open market and from other washing stations.
Gitwe is a specific hill near Long Miles' Heza washing station and this coffee comes exclusively from the Long Miles farmers living on that hill. We tasted several lots from Gitwe this year, and were most impressed with this day lot from the 38th day of harvest, with notes of date, brown sugar, peach, and candied citrus. It’s sweet, it’s complex, and we think it’s hella delicious.View full product details