From Burundi, With Love.

Drive to Geelong and the waterfront city doesn’t disappoint. Ocean sea breezes, delicate wines, and a natural beauty you experience only if you look up to notice. It’s also the home of one of the most fanatic, crazy-genius coffee roasters you’ve no doubt come across in your experiences of Melbourne coffee. Nathan Johnston is the mad scientist behind Cartel Roasters. In between Nathan flying from Ethiopia to Columbia, we managed to steal a few moments of his time and precious coffee to share with you guys this month.

Cartel Roasters prides itself on using the very best coffees in the world through direct trade relationships in Ethiopia, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and Colombia. Each producer they work is also ensuring that they’re doing their best with the sustainability process for the future of hand pickers and farmers - an important factor when they’re choosing the farms.

And it’s with this whole-rounded philosophy that we’ve come to land on the coffee for the month - something unique and special that we don’t often get the opportunity in saying.

This month we’re proud to be launching the Long Miles Coffee Project coffee in Australia with Cartel Roasters. LMCP are a small American family living in Burundi, which is right in the heart of east Africa. Their dream was that one day they could facilitate direct and meaningful relationships between coffee roasters and coffee growers by producing great coffee and telling the story of the farmers who grow it, giving the world the gift of great Burundi coffee.

Burundi’s micro climate is perfect to growing amazing coffees and this led an exploration of the small landlocked country. LMCP is without a doubt producing some of the very best coffees in Africa with its meticulous picking processing and cleaning. This is what we’re drinking today - we are proud to share them with you and their unique flavours.  

Speaking with roaster Trent, he gave us the blow by blow on this amazing Burundi coffee at Cartel Roasters new brew bar in the heart of the Geelong city. “This single origin is clean and sweet with ripe tree fruits lovely acidity, toffee sweetness and notes of raisins, stone-fruits, guava and chocolate, with a lingering prune and honey finish.” It’s a fruit and sugar bomb that will have you questioning your life choices up until this moment, and it’s arguably the most delicious thing you’ll have this morning.

We were opportune to grab Nathan and Trent when we did, before they shoot off again to another remote farm to do what they do best - source the beans that taste great and do good.

We asked Nathan if there was one piece of advice he could give to coffee lovers around the world, what would it be? He looked us sternly in the eye and with full commitment to the cause: “Respect the hard work of each and every person in the coffee food chain that has committed to move coffee around the world”. Pretty good advice.

Keen to try it? Sign up to Three Thousand Thieves today.

Follow them on Instagram @CartelRoasters

Photography by Nikola Janev.