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Burundi Gitwe Washed

Huckleberry Roasters

Huckleberry has been roasting coffee from the Long Miles Coffee Project now for four years running, and each year the coffees seem to get better.  To be honest, the first year was rough.  Two years ago Colline Ninga raised the bar, and last year both Colline Ninga washed and Gitwe Natural were excellent. For this harvest, we're bringing 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 Colline 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 spilling 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 Carlson, an American living in Burundi.  Ben, upon seeing the difficulties Muramvya farmers faced while working as a coffee trader, built two washing stations in the region, and has 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.  After tasting samples from different hills, different processing methods, and different periods of the harvest, this particular lot from Gitwe stood out as one of our favorites.

This coffee is a delight to drink, and should please folks who steer towards both sweet, balanced Latin American coffees and those who love bright, complex Kenyans.  We taste dates, figs and shortbread cookie sweetness, a bit of baking spice complexity, red berries, and lovely clementine-like brightness.  Long Miles is bringing the fire again this year, and we're glad to roast Gitwe Washed in the leadoff position.

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