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Burundi—Nkonge Hill

Regular price
Tasting notes
Sweet berries, lime, cola, juicy
Cupping Scorecard
87 / 100
General roasting guidelines
Good for Espresso
Region Details
Nkonge Village
Heza Washing Station
500 Small Farmers with Long Miles Coffee Project
Fully washed & dried on raised beds
Harvest Season / Year
2,100m (Extraordinarily high)

While we've known each other for a few years, this is our first of what we expect to be many installments of great coffee from Ben and Kristy Carlson of the Long Miles Coffee Project. Long Miles has been on the ground helping farmers in Burundi for nearly 10 years, producing extraordinary lots of coffee while elevating the conditions of the farmers there. We couldn't feel more aligned with a community of coffee farmers than we do with the Long Miles folks.

This lot from the Heza washing station is a special lot of coffee. This station produced 2 of 10 Cup of Excellence (COE) winners in the first year of operation and continue to release amazing harvests. This coffee here is a past crop, but still exhibits impressive acidity and uniqueness.

The washing station on Nkonge Hill is managed by a young man named, Zephryn who directs the operations with the assistance of the Fermentation Chief and Agronomist, Jeremie. The coffees that stream into the washing station at harvest come from a community of about 500 families who bring their freshly picked bourbon cherries. Each family has, on average, about 150 well maintained trees. The harvest season stretches from April into the end of June where increasingly selective picking fixates on superior quality. Education, experience and keen attention maximize the output of these extraordinarily high altitude farms.

Once the cherries are delivered to Heza (which translates, "beautiful place"), they are sorted into one of four floating tanks to separate less dense and less flavorful cherries, and then to sorting tables for color and insect damage refining. Once at the washing station itself, the fruit is fully washed, depupled and again sorted and graded into three grades of quality where they are fermented separately for 12 hours. Drying is done slowly on raised beds that are lined along a steep hillside bowl for a period of 20-30 days.

The extensive rain in this region create processing challenges. But it also creates magic. The treasures from this station reveal complex red and black currant sweetness along with notes of fruit punch that caries a floral hibiscus acidity. When well prepared, it exhibits a beautiful depth that only a coffee grown at such high altitude and with such care can.