We were lucky enough to get this Green Burundian Kinyovu Natural from the Long Miles Coffee Project via Sevenoaks Trading. Our last Long Miles Coffee we had to fly in, dramatically affecting the landing cost.
Burundi is perfectly situated to grow quality coffee. It has an equatorial climate, most of the country is highland, and a significant amount of the coffee is grown in shade.
Although Burundi is a land locked country, 10% of the country is water-based (thanks to Lake Tanganyika). It has, however, taken Burundi coffee a while to really make it on to the big stage.
Long Miles Coffee Project (LCMP)
This is the seventh harvest we have had coffee from this project.
From the Founder’s Mouths
Using their bio description from their website:
Founded by Ben and Kirsty Carlson, Long Miles Coffee was born in the lush coffee producing country of Burundi, East Africa. All over Burundi, we saw farmers being taken advantage of by a broken coffee system. Poor farming practices also kept farmers impoverished. We saw an opportunity to improve people’s lives by improving the quality of the coffee they produced. While dreaming of great coffee and a better future for farmers, we built our first washing station (or wet mill) in 2013.
In our first season, thanks to our friends and devoted blog readers, we sold all the coffee before it even hit the drying tables. This overwhelming support allowed us to pay the farmers who delivered their coffee cherries to us months before any other washing station in our area, and we quickly became established as a vital part of the community.
Our second washing station, Heza, came online in 2014 just before the country plummeted into a season of instability. Along with building Heza, we planted our first coffee farm, which was an encouragement to the hundreds of small holding farmers around us. They saw that we were committed to the land, no matter what the political climate.
Murakoze cane (thank you very much).
More about LMCP
Within Long Miles Coffee Project, coffee production takes different roads.
The first road, modelled in Burundi, includes washing station ownership. In Burundi, LMCP work with 5,500 smallholding farmers, who each grow less than a bag of coffee each year, to produce and bring to market the coffee they grow. To accomplish this, LMCP own three washing stations and work with farmers on eleven unique hills.
Another crucial road of this model is farming. Long Miles own coffee farms that stand alongside their smallholder farmers. These farms act as model farms for the surrounding communities, as well as giving them a chance to experiment with and control some variables in growing coffee.
About Burundian Kinyovu
Directly from the documentation provided by Sevenoaks:
“Kinyovu lots are actually a blend of top-quality coffees from all of Long Miles’ washing stations. As they go through our Dry Milling program each year, they take the small amounts of green coffee that does not add up to a full bag from each micro-lot and combine them together. Each year they cup the lot and are blown away as it nearly always ends up being one of our favourite lots of the year! In truth, this is not surprising, as they are big believers in the gestalt effect of blending similar coffees. Long Miles believes that this process fills in the flavour profile gap that individual day lots may possess, and produces something that is greater than any individual part.
“Long Miles, among other projects, are busy with a reforestation initiative in the Kibira forests, follow the link for more info- https://www.longmilescoffeeproject.com/projects/trees-for-kibira/”
Processing: Natural process coffees
After picking ripe coffee cherries for hours in the early morning, farmers selectively hand pick and float their cherries at home before delivering them. A farmer might walk as far as 8km on narrow dirt footpaths carrying coffee cherries on their head in order to reach this collection point.
There is a pre-selection area and floating station at the LMCP collection point where their coffee cherries are taken to be sorted and floated once again. Any underdeveloped, low-density or insect damaged cherries will float to the top and are easily skimmed off. Cherries that rise to the top are bought at a lower price, their quality immediately separated from the sinkers, then processed and sold as a lower grade coffee.
After each farmer’s cherries have been selected, weighed and their contribution recorded, this coffee which is exclusively an Arabica Bourbon cultivate is laid out in a single layer on traditional African raised beds to dry in its whole fruit. The cherries are then meticulously hand-sorted for colour, ripeness and insect damage by a team of pickers. The drying cherries are rotated continuously throughout the day and covered when the sun’s rays are too intense, when it’s raining and overnight.
Commitment to the perfect moisture level (10-11%) means coffee spends 20-30 days slow drying, depending on the weather conditions, soaking up as much of the hot East African sun as possible.
Bonuses are paid to farming families in the form of a second payment at the end of the export year- before the next harvest season opens.
Our take on Burundian Kinyovu
Typically, the LMCP Burundi’s have a sugar intensity this coffee is sweet but not as intense as we have come to expect. A medium bodied coffee with raspberries, red-apple and brown sugar sweetness.
Farming Families:Selection from 5,500 smallholding farmers
|Harvest:||Main crop: May-July.|
|Processing:||Natural slow dried on African raised beds|
|Altitude / Latitude:||1800- 2000 masl|
|Packaging:||GrainPro in Hessian|
|Sourced from|| Long Miles Coffee Project via Sevenoaks Trading
|Producer/Organization||Long miles coffee project LMCP|
|Lot size bought||2x60kg bags|
|Relationship||Our relationship with LMCP goes back to 2014.|
- LMCP website
- Sevenoaks documentation.