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Burundi Heza Natural

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This is Huckleberry's seventh (!) year working with the Long Miles Coffee Project in the Muramvya province of Burundi, and our fifth year roasting the lovely natural-processed fruitbombs from the group. Heza - a beautiful place in Kirundi - is one of Long Miles’ two washing stations, and this awesome natural comes from farmers on Mikuba and Gitwe hills.

This year was a particularly challenging harvest, both for Long Miles and the entire country of Burundi. Across Burundi, due to extreme rain and a myriad of other factors, coffee production was down to just 22% of a normal, good harvest. In a poor country like Burundi (which already has some of the lowest coffee production per tree in the industry) losing that much of their main cash crop is crippling. We’re happy to continue supporting the farmers of Long Miles, and this year more than ever, feel lucky to have a bit of this delicious coffee in the Huck lineup.

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 local 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.

In years past, we’ve purchased hill-specific lots from Gitwe or Ninga, but this year, due to the difficult harvest, Long Miles wasn’t able to produce as much natural as they normally would. This lot, processed at Long Miles’ Heza washing station, is comprised of three day lots, primarily from Gitwe hill farmers, but with a small amount of coffee from neighboring Mikuba hill. 

Heza Nat bursts with the juicy strawberry we've come to expect from the best Ethiopian naturals, but with a bit more concord grape and some of the hallmarks of our favorite washed Burundis. We taste a bit of sweet-savory complexity, honeycomb, and bubblegum flavors to complement the fruit-forward strawberry and grape jelly sweetness.

 

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