Refreshing the bid...
Two rivers and a province border lie between Bukeye Washing Station and the hills of Ninga.The community is far beyond the reach of electricity. Even the glass bottles of coca-cola thatusually find their way into tiny roadside shops are difficult to find on Ninga. Coffee trees occupy any space they can on this hill from the edge of the single track dirt paths that weave through the hills to the doorsteps of farmers’ selfmade mud brick houses. With every violent conflict that has broken out in Burundi, Ninga farmers have scattered into the surrounding hills and forest areas with no established place of refuge to run to. During thesetimes the coffee trees have gone into hibernation mode, waiting for their owners to return. Many decades later, farmers return home and try to combat the effects that years of neglect have had on their land. Yet, Ninga hill produces elegant and complex coffees, with flavors that are layered and not at all muddled. Our commitment to working more closely with this hill has never been stronger. Ninga hill is the site of what will become our third Long Miles Coffee washing station. We bought a piece of land 10km from our Bukeye Washing Station, flanked by the Nkokoma river. This year, we cleared the land and constructed traditional African raised drying tables in hope of seeing Ninga Washing Station built to completion in time for the next coffee harvest.
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 Sakubu is one of the Coffee Scouts working alongside the coffee farming families on Ninga hill. He has been empowering farmers with sustainable farming practices, helping them to understand the importance of planting shade trees, green manures, to mulch their land and seasonally prune the coffee trees. During coffee harvest, he stands side by side with farmers, guiding them through the cherry picking process.