Mutana’s hills seem to roll into infinity. The hills are covered in a never-ending tapestry of green and possess the most breathtaking panoramic views. The edge of the Kibira Forest looms only a couple of kilometers away which allows mist to fall from the forest and tumble onto farmers’ fields daily. With its mix of silty and sandy soils, Mutana can grow everything people like to eat. Wheat, cassava, potato, onions, peas, beans, sweet potato, passion fruit and tea are grown alongside coffee. Tucked far away in the heart of the hill, hidden well beyond eye’s reach, is a waterfall. In order to reach it you’d have to scramble down a steep hill covered in eucalyptus trees, cross over a small river, pass through a tea plantation and follow a narrow dirt track- but we can guarantee the experience would be worth it.
PROCESSING DETAILS Heza washing station processes its coffee by pumping spring water from a nearby natural spring. 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 double fermentation process. Parchment spends around 12 hours dry fermenting, then undergoes a 24-hour wet fermentation. 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 4-6 hours in the final rinse tank. The parchment is carried to covered drying tables where it spends between 6-48 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 16-20 days slow drying (depending on the weather) reaching 10.5% moisture level. During the natural process coffee cherries are floated and then hand-sorted, then taken straight to the drying tables. The whole coffee cherry spends between 25-30 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 Oswald is one of the Coffee Scouts working alongside the coffee farming families on Mutana hill, teaching them how to take care of their plantations and produce quality coffee. He has been empowering farmers by teaching them sustainable farming practices. He helps them understand the importance of planting shade trees and green manures, and he helps them to mulch their land and seasonally prune their coffee trees. During coffee harvest, he stands side by side with farmers, guiding them through the cherry picking process. He has also taught farmers how to spot and catch antestia bugs, the colorful bugs thought to be behind the potato taste defect.