Last night at The Factory Cafe in Durban, Colombo Coffee hosted an event called The Story of Coffee. Guest speakers were Craig Charity (SA Barista Champ) and Lori-Rae van Laren (Long Miles Coffee Project) while Charli Denison of Cultivar had a small roaster set up for those who wanted to take a shot at roasting their own coffee.
|Craig Charity, Lori-Rae van Laren, Charli Denison|
The event was aimed at raising money for the Long Miles Coffee Project in Burundi. Craig shared his story about his World Barista Champs experience and his connection to Ben and Kristy Carlson, who relocated their family to Burundi to start Long Miles Coffee Project. Lori then continued the evening by sharing the heart behind the Long Miles Coffee Project in Burundi.
The story of the Long Miles Coffee Project began when Ben and Kristy felt the call to provide hope for people growing coffee in Burundi. Burundi has come through severe war and is listed as the 4th poorest country in the world. The coffee growing conditions are not easy but what Ben & Kristy saw was potential.
Setting up washing stations in Bukeye and other regions of Burundi has been a catalyst to increased quality in coffee through the relationships made at these stations. Whole families and communities can be on one coffee farm and it is during the time spent with these people at washing stations that the Long Miles staff see relationships being built towards life change.
Good quality coffee is an avenue of change and hope for farmers and the Long Miles Coffee Project view coffee as a way to change a whole family’s and community’s future. To read more about this incredible coffee project just visit their fantastic website HERE.
The evening ended with a coffee auction as the hilarious Arno Els, barista at Factory Cafe and stand up comedian, had us in hysterics while auctioning off 4 bags of Burundian coffee. The theme that came through the night was how important it is to encourage fair trade in the coffee market. Raising up coffee farmers and giving them hope ultimately raises the quality of coffee.