Nkonge Hill, Natural
Zesty balance of banana, strawberry & orange juice.
Life has a different pace on Nkonge Hill. There is a stillness on the hill that is hard to find anywhere else in Burundi. A winding six-kilometre walk down to the Heza Washing Station, Nkonge Hill produces a unique coffee full of impact. Dirt roads cut into the hill’s steep slopes, revealing panoramic views of banana trees and lush tea plantations. Natural springs find their way out of the hill, keeping its soils well watered. Nkonge’s high elevation fosters a harder, slower-growing coffee bean. This slow growth coupled with the nutrient-rich soil produces coffees, that are not only delicious but are improving the lives of coffee growers in these remote areas of Burundi. This kind of life-changing impact is exactly why Five Senses is so passionate about our relationship with Long Miles Coffee. In the cup, you can expect a zesty balance of banana, strawberry & orange juice.
Sadly, life hasn’t always been peaceful on Nkonge Hill. The most recent civil war in Burundi brought great losses. Many farming families that fled returned to the hill only to find that their land had been divided or taken over by someone else. Nkonge Hill is led by a woman chief named Pia. Pia’s hopes are for more development and improved food security on her hill.
“It’s hard to hope, “says Pia, ”when so much has been lost.” The war brought great losses to Nkonge, but Pia believes it is now time for peace and time to grow more coffee.
With the help of Long Miles’ coffee scouts, like Venerande, farmers are slowly rejuvenating their farms. Venerande is one of the founding coffee scouts working alongside the coffee farming families on Nkonge Hill, teaching them how to take care of their plantations and produce quality coffee. She has been empowering farmers with sustainable farming practices, helping them to understand the importance of planting shade trees and green manures to seasonally mulch their land and prune the coffee trees.
During coffee harvest, she stands side by side with farmers, guiding them through the cherry-picking process. Venerande has also taught farmers how to spot and catch antestia bugs (the colourful critters thought to be linked to the potato taste defect) that hide in the coffee trees.
Nkonge Hill’s farmers have been receiving support from Long Miles Coffee to improve productivity and quality for increased income. Two of Long Miles’ farms can be found on Nkonge’s slopes, directly across from Heza Washing Station. In the future, the people of Nkonge Hill dream of having electricity. With it, they could mill cassava, wheat and maize grown on the hill into flour to make the food they love to eat most, bread.
Beyond the Brew: Long Miles
Five Senses feels a strong sense of shared values around excellent quality coffee and social impact with the Long Miles crew. The organisation, attention to detail and positive relationships we saw on the ground were genuinely impressive. The Long Miles Team continue to produce some truly amazing coffees which are improving the lives of coffee growers in these remote areas of Burundi.LEARN MORE