Introducing our newest coffee and partnership with people dedicated to bring out the best of Burundi
At Torch, we believe in providing opportunity through coffee. As the second most traded commodity in the world and the livelihood of more than twenty million people, coffee can have an incredible impact. For us, it’s the people, the relationships that create that impact. Torch seeks out other people, other organizations that believe as we do; that investing in the human aspect of coffee we can change thousands of lives for the better.
So we are thrilled to announce a new partnership with the Long Miles Coffee Project out of Burundi, Africa. Mutana Hill, meaning “we are with you always,” is available to order now. Mutana Hill comes from the edge of the Kibira forest and carries a lemon scent, boasting flavors of lemon, raspberry, and floral notes. The milky body and Asian pear finish provide a beautiful and unique coffee experience.
When we first talked about doing development work, we knew we needed to go where help was most needed and least available. Burundi is just that kind of place and Long Miles Coffee Project is a family run company bringing that idea to life.
A land-locked country just south of Rwanda, Burundi is the poorest country in the world. Twelve years of civil war between 1993 and 2006, fueled by racial tensions between Hutus and Tutsis, left an already poor country in tatters. Ninety percent of Burundi’s population works in agriculture and coffee is its most traded commodity, the backbone of the economy. For many families, selling coffee marks the difference between having food and going hungry. It’s easy to see the despair, the lingering effects of war and the anxiety over current, growing political and racial tensions. Yet Ben and Kristy Carlson, founders of the Long Miles Coffee Project, see one thing above all of that – potential.
Rolling hills make up Burundi's landscape, dotted with a patchwork of small, family-run farms. Most Burundians live off their small pieces of land, surviving on what comes out of that plot every day. Coffee is their cash-crop, the one chance they have every year to make money to send their kids to school or pay for their daughter’s wedding. They grow some of the best coffee in the world – Arabica Bourbon. With elevations of over 1,600 meters, microclimates are perfect for producing high-quality coffee. Communities are built around hills, or collides, and each batch of coffee is made up of the cherries from more than a hundred family plots. Mutana Hill is the product of more than five hundred families.
Long Miles Coffee Project is a washing station in their sixth coffee season in Burundi. What started as a simple dream to be coffee people has turned into a mission Ben and Kristy couldn’t have imagined. With the human element at the core of what they do, Long Miles provides processing for over three thousand families. Everything, with the exception of depulping, is done by hand to ensure the highest quality product, to be sold at the best price so that farmers and their families can hope for a better way of life. Education is vital to what they do, providing agronomists to the farmers to help create high yields and better sustainability so that future generations can continue to build and grow. Ben and Kristy don’t just advise and process; they farm their own land. Their boys help. They work with their neighboring farmers, attend to the trees with them, search for fertilizer with them, anxiously watch the weather with them, hope with them, dream with them.
It is an honor and a privilege for Torch to represent Burundi coffee farming families and work with an organization like Long Miles Coffee. Through building relationships with farmers and roasters, Ben and Kristy are able to provide a consistent, stable income for thousands of people. Through this partnership, we can provide more opportunity; provide the ability to break the cycle of poverty. You play a vital role in this mission every time you bring Mutana Hill home. This is who we are, what we believe, the type of people we believe in. We look forward to building this new relationship with Long Miles Coffee and seeing the impact it can have on the lives of the people in Burundi.
We are with you always Burundi.
We welcome you to buy a bag of this delicious coffee and join us to do our part in bringing stability to these families.
Article written by Alissa Bumgardner, Torch Writer and Coffee Professional