Long Miles Coffee Project
Heza Washing Station
Switch-backing up mountainsides and across small, hand built log bridges, visiting Heza washing station can be likened to a great off-road adventure. To say Heza washing station is ‘remote’ would be an understatement and yet the community that lives in the surrounding hills is a special one; comprised mostly of coffee farmers. Heza means ‘beautiful place’ in Kirundi, the local language of Burundi. With panoramic views and an ever-changing East African sky, this washing station lives up to its name.
Heza is the second washing station built by Ben and Kristy Carlson, an American family who see the potential of Burundi coffee and its farmers. It is an important part of the Long Miles Coffee Project, their farmer focused initiative.
Heza is built into the face of a cliff overlooking the Kibira rainforest; the border of Burundi and Rwanda. The rainforest looms only 2.4 miles in the distance. The exceptionally high altitude, moderate climate and close proximity to Kibira bring out the best in the coffee both on the trees and at the station. The individual micro-climates of each hill combined with the station’s ideal conditions guarantee unique and exquisite notes in every cup.
Heza cherries are washed with locally sourced mineral water. Heza has two springs which channel rainforest water down the hills to the station. Crystal-clear spring water is stored at the station and used to pulp, ferment and rinse coffee cherry.
Other crops in the region:
Tea, onions and vegetables are Matongo commune’s main production besides coffee. Other crops in the region include beans, sweet potatoes and livestock. Kayanza province is home to two unique fruits—a green variant of passion fruit known as ‘maracudja’ and tree tomatoes.
“During each coffee season we tell farmers to harvest good and ripe cherries because we aim at the highest quality coffee.” –Zéphyrin Banzubaze (Heza station manager)
Added to this, Heza has its own coffee tree nursery with over 15 000 young trees. The hope is to begin replacing Burundi’s war-torn landscape and invest in the future of quality coffee.
|Region||Kayanza Province, Matongo Commune, Gitwe Hill|
|Proc. Method||Fully Washed|
In The Cup: Plum, Dried Cranberry, Smooth Body