Gaharo holds a special place in the heart of Long Miles Coffee. This is not just one of the hills in our story, it is the hill where the journey began. The first washing station built by Long Miles rests at the feet of Gaharo hill, on a piece of land that seemed to be long forgotten by everyone else. Every inch of it was cleared by Gaharo farmers and bricks were made from clay found in the valley below. The same farmers who helped to build Bukeye from scratch now deliver their cherries to it. To us, Gaharo farmers have become our neighbors and co-workers. We have grown, worked and developed as a community “twese hamwe”; together. What sets this hill apart from others in the region is the number of blacksmiths hand-crafting metal into knives and farming tools.
PROCESSING DETAILS Bukeye Washing Station has its own borehole water source and a granite filtered well. During the fully washed process freshly harvested cherries are delivered by coffee farmers to the Long Miles Coffee Washing Station, then floated and hand-sorted for ripeness upon arrival. The cherries are pulped and undergo a single fermentation process. Parchment spends around twelve hours dry fermenting. The parchment is sometimes ‘footed’ after fermentation. A team will agitate and dance on the slippery coffee parchment by foot, helping to loosen any remaining mucilage clinging to it. It is then rinsed in fresh water, graded by density and left to soak for another four to six hours in the final rinse tank. The parchment is carried to covered drying tables where it spends between six and forty-eight hours pre-drying. During this time, it is hand-picked for under-ripeness, over-ripeness, insect damage and visual defects. It is then moved to traditional African raised tables where it spends between sixteen to twenty days slow drying (depending on the weather) until it reaches the desired 10.5% moisture level.
During the natural process, coffee cherries are floated and hand-sorted, then taken straight to the drying tables. The whole coffee cherry spends between twenty-five to thirty days drying in its skin, slowly turning from deep red to a prune-like purple-black color when fully dry, reaching a 10.5% moisture level.
THE SCOUTS Emery, Suavis and Peter are three Coffee Scouts working alongside coffee farming families on Gaharo hill. Together, they have been empowering farmers with sustainable farming practices, helping them to plant shade trees and green manures, mulch their land and seasonally prune their coffee trees. During coffee harvest, the Coffee Scouts stand side by side with farmers, guiding them through the cherry picking process. They have also taught farmers how to spot and catch antestia bugs, the colorful bugs thought to be linked to the potato taste defect, that can be found in the coffee trees.