Burundi Bukeye

LONG MILES COFFEE PROJECT

The story of how this coffee found its way to Vermont is slightly different than other coffees we’ve roasted. Earlier this spring, after a post on Instagram about a tape we were listening to while roasting, we received a comment from another Instagram user @longmilesben: “When we sample coffees on our farm in Burundi, we name the lots after bands they reminded us of!” Shortly after that post, emails were exchanged and we had officially met Ben from Long Miles Coffee Project in Burundi.

The story of Long Miles Coffee Project starts about four years before that first Instagram message. Ben Carlson and his wife Kristy left the United States for east Africa in an attempt to unearth a long-forgotten coffee region. For what many described as dangerous and risky, Ben and Kristy looked at as an adventure of a lifetime for their family (which includes two young boys).

Since its beginning, this small family operation has grown to work with more than 150 people between the two washing stations it owns. Working with coffee farmers directly, Long Miles is able pay coffee farmers more and earlier for their crops, while maintaining incredibly high standards for coffee processing.

Burundi coffee is the Cinderella of the coffee world: hidden, misused, misunderstood, and neglected. Since the Belgians first started planting coffee in Burundi in the 1960’s, producers have used this landlocked African country only to produce commodity coffee. That means for the last fifty years Burundi’s rich and unique beans have been lost in a sea of instant and grocery store blends. But now, grown and crafted with care, Burundi coffee is finding its place in the specialty limelight.
— Kristy Carlson

Despite the attempted coup d'état in Burundi earlier this year (and the months of unrest that have followed) Ben and the local farmers have forged ahead to deliver what is truly a spectacular crop and one that we could not be more honored to roast.

BURUNDI BUKEYE

The incredible attention to detail the Carlson’s take with each step of the coffee process allows Long Miles Coffee to be traces to the hill it was grown on and to the farmer that grew it. Our Long Miles offering comes from the Bukeye Washing Station, pictured below.

One of the farmers that grows the coffee for Long Miles is Especiose Manirakiza. Especiose is the sole provider for her six children. Her husband was killed in the Burundian civil war that ended in 2006. Since that time, Especiose has been a coffee farmer, tending meticulously to her modest farm that consists of more than 100 trees as well as a host of other crops. She is not only a farmer and a survivor, but she is a leader in her community. 

TASTING NOTES

This coffee has a sweet, citrusy aroma, mildly viscous body and a herbacious, red wine grape finish. Burundi Bukeye is available to order in the online store and through our weekly CSA subscriptions.