Naturally processed coffee from Burundi.
Mikuba is one of the coffees coming from The Long Miles Project. A project started by the Calson family.
They wanted to try to build a closer relationship between growers and roasters and so they uprooted their family and moved to Burundi to start a washing station.
In 2013 they had their first ever harvest and managed to sell everything even before the coffee hit the drying tables.
That gave them a head start and since then they have done an amazing job chasing the lives of thousands of people through teaching them how to grow better coffee that they in turn can get more money from.
If you want to learn more about the family and the project, visit their website:
We chose to buy this coffee firstly because it had a unique profile. We are suckers for good natural coffees and this one really stood out. Bright and fruity with sweet prunes and red berries and an acidity reminiscent of lemon candy or lemonade.
But we also love to support projects like this, and we have been buying coffee from The long miles for a long time. The most recognised one we have had before is the Mutana.
“A trip to Mikuba is something to look forward to. The hill is covered in bright blue and yellow flowers that line the narrow dirt walking paths. Forests of acacia trees also cover the landscape. Patches of tomatoes, sweet potato, cabbage, cassava and peas lined by the tall stalks of wheat and maize wrap the hill in every imaginable shade of gold and green. Canopies of banana trees are planted alongside coffee, creating a cooler environment for the coffee to grow in.
Like many other hills in Burundi, Mikuba was a battlefield during the reoccurring cycles of war and violence. Sadly, this is how the hill became known as Mikuba, meaning “disaster”
in the local language of Kirundi. When you ask farmers how they feel about living on a hill named disaster, they will tell you that it is a part of their history that cannot be erased. They have not given up hope on the hill they call home. Since the end of the war, farming families have slowly returned to rebuild their homes and land, happy to be back in its soils. The people of Mikuba are determined to develop as a community so that there is hope for future generations on the hill.
THE SCOUTS: Coffee scout Astille is working together with Mikuba coffee farmers, helping them to understand the importance of using fertilizer and planting other crops. She has single-handedly created two nurseries on Mikuba hill that farmers can collect shade tree seedlings from to plant alongside their coffee.
CHALLENGES: Mikuba grows almost everything its people love to eat but it struggles with the stability of its soils. The steepness of the hill causes the good soil to erode into the valley below during rainy season which makes it difficult for farmers to grow their crops. Astille is teaching farmers to plant green manures to help return nutrients to the hill’s soils.
FUTURE: The people of Mikuba hill dream of better roads to make traveling to school, reaching the local hospital and walking to the washing station less of a hardship. "
-The Long Miles Project