Nathan Johnson has been working in the coffee industry for over 10 years. He started Cartel at 1/80 Little Malop Street Geelong eight years ago with a passion for coffee and a quest to understand more of the science to making a perfect cup.
His journey has led them to discover over thirteen coffee growing countries to date and has enabled him to meet some of the most amazing personalities within the industry.
Although they are a small boutique roaster, Nathan and his crew, headed up by production roaster and head of sales, Jackson Lever, put an enormous amount of time and effort at origin.
“For us, direct trade has a very personal meaning. We facilitate meaningful relationships between coffee customers and coffee growers by roasting great coffee and telling the stories of the farmers who grow it.”
They work directly at the farmers level in seed to cup programs and have extensive experience now working at setting up washing stations and processing facilities in Uganda and Ethiopia. In particular specialising in improving the quality of sundried coffees around the world. One of these reasons, apart from the premium coffee that comes from it, is the positive effect they can see on the local communities.
“Our aim is to only use sustainable, traceable, well processed coffees. We love to see the results of paying a premium for better coffees at origin and we have seen a positive change regarding healthcare, education, infrastructure and quality of living in these countries”
They are looking to expand in the next 12 months and aim to have roastery and production facility in each state of Australia with their sister green bean trading company Hand Pickers.
Look out for them in a city near you very soon.
The coffee you are drinking this week:
Munyina Hill is one of the first natural processed coffees from the Long Miles Coffee Project (BURUNDI) that was founded by Ben and Kristy Carlson.
It is a family endeavor to grow and produce micro lots of coffee in Burundi, East Africa.
Long Miles Coffee Project connects coffee farming families with roasters who believe that exceptional coffee includes traceability and sustainability.
What They do:
Long Miles Coffee Project is passionate about growing and crafting unique micro lots of coffee that are processed with care and improve the wellbeing of the farmers who grow it. Burundian coffee has rich blends and beautiful flavors that Long Miles is dedicated to bringing to the world by tracing each micro lot back to individual farming families.
Long Miles builds relationships with families of coffee producers as they grow trees alongside Burundian farmers. The Carlsons listen to the struggles of the farmers and build platforms for change from what they hear. LMCP works with over 1400 farmers in 26 collines (coffee hills) as well as various coffee cooperatives.
How they operate
Long Miles Coffee Project believes that the washing station (wet mill) is where true transformation takes place. Here, all 18 stages of coffee production are overseen. Handpicked cherries are floated and weighed and each hill of coffee is de-pulped separately. Cherries are de-pulped using a MacKinnon three- disc depulper. Once de-pulped, coffee cherry is fermented overnight and subsequently rinsed and graded through channels. This includes stomping on the cherry to remove the surrounding mucilage and using wooden paddles to separate the beans by density. Thereafter, cherry is soaked for a final four hours and dried for two days.
Hand-picking eliminates any defect beans before the one to three weeks of full sun drying begins. The coffee is then finally moved to the storehouse. This season a boutique selection of naturals and honey processed coffee will also be on the LMCP drying tables.
“The washing station is the place where we get to engage with coffee farmers. We built our washing stations so that we could offer fairer prices to farmers for their coffee beans and put premium boosting programs into place.”
Where they live
Burundi is a tiny nation in the heart of East Africa. It’s a landlocked country covered with hills that are known for their fertile soil. It is also one of the poorest countries in the world. Burundi has a history of civil war and violence that has affected both the farmers and their families.
Long Miles partners with farmers and the coffee hills where LMCP washing stations are situated. Most farmers LMCP works with own very little land because they fled the country during the conflict and have returned to find their land occupied by others. Many of the women farmers are widows who singlehandedly juggle farming and raising children. Burundi is also in desperate need of new coffee trees. LMCP hopes to be able to start replacing the old, war-torn trees in the near future. Long Miles Coffee Project has washing stations in two provinces of Burundi—Muramvya and Kayanza.
Guji Muhaba, a natural sun dried process coffee from the legendary Guji zone of Ethiopia is stunning, vibrant, sweet and fruity. It’s everything you want to see in an absolutely refined and well natural processed coffee from Ethiopia.
Everyone who cups it remarks on its clean notes of raspberries and blackcurrants when lightly roasted.
It has a great body, is well structured and super sweet.
This coffee arriving in August 2015 is a natural process from the Hambella zone. The farmers here are very very well trained and focused on hand cherry picking.
There are around 500 small holders and is grown at an altitude of around 1800 – 2000 metres above sea level.