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Raspberry Syrup, Citrus Zest, Cacao

Country: Burundi
Producer: Long Miles Coffee Project
Region: Matongo Commune, Kayanza
Number of Farmers: Many smallholder famers
Altitude: 1900-2100 Meters
Cultivars: Bourbon
Production Method: Dry processed

STORY: Switch-backing up mountainsides and across small, hand built log bridges, visiting Heza washing station can be likened to a great off-road adventure. Heza is built into the side of a cliff facing the Kibira rainforest, which looms just 2.4 miles in the distance. To say Heza washing station is ‘remote’ would be an understatement and yet the farming communities that live in the surrounding hills are special ones. Named by the Carlsons, Heza means ‘beauti- ful place’ in Kirundi, the local language of Burundi.

In it’s opening 2014 season, Heza washing station was a dream that resisted coming to life. Setback after setback, most of them seeming unbelievable to the Long Miles team, meant that Heza was not open at the beginning of the coffee season. They boldly asked farmers to trust them with their coffee cherries despite their silent station. For almost half of the coffee season, they meticulously trucked coffee cherries from their Heza farmers to the Bukeye station 40 minutes away for processing. When Heza washing station finally did open, the whole community celebrated.

AGRONOMY: The exceptionally high altitude, moderate climate and close proximity to Kibira rainforest bring out the best in Heza’s coffees making them a unique offering in the Long Miles Collection. The individual micro-climates of each hill surrounding Heza, combined with the station’s ideal conditions guarantees unique and exquisite notes in every micro-lot.

What impressed us about the Ben's and Kristy's efforts in Burundi is their courage to do what nobody has done in Burundi before. That is to create a system designed to pay farmers more for quality pickings and an revolutionary effort to eradicate defects common to Burundi through targeted, organic methods. Portola is proud to support the LMCP in any way that we can moving forward. Their commitment to quality coffee and supporting the local communities that are responsible for making it happen is noble to say the least. Expect to see lots of LMCP Burundi's in Portola's line up for many years to come.