Ye Dusty Olde Sweet Maria's Coffee Review Archive
2012-present -
2008-2011 -
2007 -
2005 -2006 -
2003 -2004 -
2001-2002 -
Pre-2000 -
Our Current Review Pages:


You are browsing the 2008-2011 Archived Reviews

New Guinea

  Bookmark and Share
Papua New Guinea Baroida Plantation

The Baroida Plantation, located in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, was founded by Ben Colbran in the 1960s. Ben first purchased the land from a native man named Taro & they were amongst the first people to cultivate crops in these valleys. In 1965, the government encouraged the early settlers to start growing coffee as a long-term sustainable crop. Ben started to plant coffee trees becoming one of the first coffee producers of the Eastern Highlands The Colbran Family is now in its third generation with Benís son Nickel and grandson Chris running Baroida plantation. Through either luck or good design, the Baroida plantation sits at the apex of the Lamari river valley and Mount Jabarra range. The plantation itself sits at about 5,550ft amongst thousands of hectares of cleared land with former colonial coffee estates surrounding them (now run by native landowners) and flanked by mountains (up to 7,500ft) filled with small holder coffee producers.

While this Boroida lot has a fruited aroma, not as intense as dry-process coffees but present at all levels in this coffee. Plum is the dominant fruit in the dry fragrance, and as the roast approaches Full City the scent of chocolate cake comes dominates. Raisin and dried fruit emerge in the wet aroma, with a touch of candied orange peel. On the break I detected orange marmalade and passion fruit! The cup has an interesting mix of fresh and dried fruit flavors, plum and prune, raisin and lychee. There are exotic spice notes lurking behind these fruits; mace, fresh ginger, cinnamon, and fresh green cardamom. It has layers of flavor, and this sweet chocolate custard roast taste comes into play at Full City roast and darker. While I feel this coffee has a clean cup for a PNG coffee, the processing doesn't seem to be perfect and a few quakers are evident after roasting. The coffee can be a little inconsistent from cup-to-cup. It lost a couple points for Clean Cup and Uniformity or it would be pushing 90. Still, this is a sweet, complex cup, and with a little post-roast culling is really fantastic.



This coffee is part of our direct trade Farm Gate pricing transparency program.

View Cupping Scores
Local color in the PNG highlands.
Country: New Guinea
Grade: A/X
Region: Eastern Highlands
Processing: Wet-Processed
Arrival Date: February 2011 Arrival
Appearance: 1.4 d/300gr, 17-18 Screen
Varietal: Typica, Bourbon, Others
Intensity/Prime Attribute: Medium intensity / Sweet fruited aromatics
Roast: City to Full City+. This coffee can take a wide range of roasts and result in something interesting! I preferred Full City.
Compare to: A PNG like Boroida is not like wet-hulled Indonesia coffees of Sumatra or Sulawesi. A bright cup with light body, and just hints of Indonesia
View Cupping Scores
 
 
  Bookmark and Share
Papua New Guinea AA Kimel

Papua New Guinea occupies the Eastern half of the island it shares with the Indonesian province of Irian or simply Papua. There is very, very little organized coffee production from the Irian side. But the PNG highlands are planted with a variety of coffee types, with farms in both the large plantation model and many smallholder coffee gardens. PNG coffees can be a bit confusing: They are different from other Indonesian, Southeast Asian or Pacific Island types. All PNG coffees are wet-processed, which explains why they have a brighter, more acidic profile, and why some basic aspects of the cup are vaguely similar to Central America coffees. Most Indonesia coffees (Sumatra, and most Sulawesi) are "wet-hulled" which results in lower acidity, heavy body, and the funky "earthy" character. With PNG there can be a huge range of cup flavors from rustic, bulked Organic lots to Plantation coffees. The plantations are larger farms that have their own coffee-processing wet mills, so they are able to control all the variables of production better than the small-farm coffee gardens. That is where the Kimel farms are rather interesting. Kimel has their own wet mills like a plantation, but is actually a group of farms centered around the main 620 hectare plantation. Kimel is cooperatively-owned by the indigenous Opais peoples of the Wahgi Valley. In a sense, it is a private cooperative, and mainly due to excellent altitudes and decent quality control at the mill, the coffee has a vibrant brightness while retaining some unique PNG origin characteristics. Also interesting is the fact Kimel is comprised of more cultivars than you can count on one hand, a mixed salad of green coffees: Typica, Arusha, Blue Mountain, Mundo Novo, Catimor, Caturra, and probably more! This indicates that, while buyers and sellers like to represent coffees being of one or two cultivars, in reality farmers tend to plant some on any type that comes along, a way of hedging your bets in case any particular cultivar doesn't pan out. Kimel is broadly available since Royal Coffee sells it, but there is a good range of quality from lot to lot, grade to grade.

This particular AA lot is extremely nice, better than any of the Peaberry lots this harvest. The dry fragrance is sweet, laced with orange fruit notes, especially vibrant at City+ roast. The Kimel AA comes to life in the wet aroma. Adding hot water to the grinds and sweet layers of orange marmalade emerge, with a hint of pear and cinnamon accents. I was impressed how the clean brightness is stable through all the roast ranges. City+ roast has apple and apricot flavors as well as floral touches (honeysuckle). It's quite vibrant and high toned at this roast level, perhaps not what people think of from Indonesia coffees but if you like our wet-processed Sulawesi offerings you will appreciate the lighter touch on the Kimel AA. While the darkest roast I tested did not breach into 2nd crack; sarsaparilla and spice domintate, but it has some slight piney-foresty tastes, hinting at its origin as a near-Indonesia coffee. In between these two roast extremes, the cup was very balanced, possessing ample sweetness, fruit, and spice in the finish.





View Cupping Scores
Newer Typica varietal trees under shade in Papua New Guinea
Country: New Guinea
Grade: AA
Region: Eastern Highlands
Processing: Wet-Processed
Arrival Date: Late Dec 2010 Arrival
Appearance: .4 d/300gr, 18+ Screen
Varietal: Typica, Arusha, Blue Mountain, Mundo Novo, Catimor, Caturra
Intensity/Prime Attribute: Medium intensity / Bright, sweet cup, spice hints.
Roast: City roast works well for the brightest cup, but needs a good 48+ hours rest after roasting. Otherwise, City+ to Full City. Kimel AA was remarkably stable in terms of brightness and cup flavors. See the review comments.
Compare to: NOT like wet-hulled Indonesia coffees of Sumatra. A brighter cup, sweet, clean, a hint of spice flavor.
View Cupping Scores
 
 
  Bookmark and Share
Papua New Guinea AA Sigri Plantation

Papua New Guinea occupies the Eastern half of the island it shares with the Indonesian province of Irian (or simply Papua). There is little organized coffee production from the Irian side, but the PNG highlands are planted with a variety of coffee types, a combination of a few large plantations, and many smallholder coffee gardens. PNG coffees can be a bit confusing. They are different from other Indonesian, Southeast Asian or Pacific Island types. Nearly all PNG coffees are wet-processed (as is coffee from Guatemala, Colombia, etc.) It explains the bright flavor profile of PNG coffee compared to nearby Indonesian growing areas, and why some basic aspects of the cup are indeed similar to a Central America coffee. Indonesians like Sumatra and the bulk of Sulawesi coffees are "wet-hulled" which results in lower acidity, heavy body, and the funky "earthy" character which some people love more than others. There can be a huge range of cups flavors from rustic, bulked Organic lots to Plantation coffees. The plantations are larger farms that have their own coffee-processing wet mills, so they are able to control all the variables of production better than the small farm coffee gardens. Sigri Plantation is probably the most efficient and well-organized of these plantations, and the careful processing of the coffee shows in the cup. In fact I have heard coffee brokers referring to a bright, clean, well-processed PNG as "Sigri-like," so famous is this farm and their style of coffee. Sigri is located not far from Kimel Plantation or from the landmark Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands. Sigri Coffee Estate in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea was established in the 1950s. The altitude of the Wahgi Valley where this coffee plantation is located is 5,200 ft. above sea level, and the size of this estate, and their sister estate, Bunum Wo totals 1,123 hectares. In addition, Sigri now fully manages 413 hectares of "project coffee" owned by neighboring local landowners and farmers.

The Sigri has an interesting dry fragrance, sweetness of beeswax and honeycomb, slight caramelized sugars, and soft milk chocolate tones (accentuated by roast level at Full City). In the light roast levels, the wet aroma is very fragrant and floral, with that persistent suggestion of raw honey coming through. The cup has elements of Indonesia wildness, with refined cup character of a wet-process coffee. There are elements of mandarin orange in the cup, ripe and sweet. The honey quality from the aroma comes through clean at City+ roast level, and fades into the more aggressive bittersweet roast tones at Full City+ . Acidity is well integrated, not too bright, but certainly more so than wet-hulled coffees of Sumatra or Sulawesi. The body is moderate but increases exponentially as you approach 2nd crack.





View Cupping Scores
The famous PNG Sigri coffee bag.
Country: New Guinea
Grade: AA
Region: Wahgi, Western Highlands
Processing: Wet-Processed
Arrival Date: November 2010 Arrival
Appearance: .0 d/300gr, 17-18 PB Screen
Varietal: Typica, Arusha, Blue Mountain, Mundo Novo, Catimor, Caturra
Intensity/Prime Attribute: Medium intensity / Clean cup, mandarin orange and honey notes
Roast: City+ to Full City+, the Full City being ideal. Nice as SO espresso too at FC roast.
Compare to: A clean cup for the Asia - Pacific zone, one of the few wet-process coffees we have aside from our Sulawesi Toraja wet process.
View Cupping Scores
 
 
  Bookmark and Share
Papua New Guinea Wahgi Peaberry

Papua New Guinea occupies the Eastern half of the island it shares with the Indonesian province of Irian (or simply Papua). There is very, very little organized coffee production from the Irian side, but the PNG highlands are planted with a variety of coffee types, and a combination of a few large plantations, and many smallholder coffee gardens. PNG coffees can be a bit confusing. They are different from other Indonesian, Southeast Asian or Pacific Island types. All PNG coffees are wet-processed (as is coffee from Guatemala, Colombia, etc.) It explains the bright flavor profile of PNG coffee compared to nearby Indonesian growing areas, and why some basic aspects of the cup are indeed similar to a Central America coffee. Indonesians like Sumatra and the bulk of Sulawesi coffees are "wet-hulled" which results in lower acidity, heavy body, and the funky "earthy" character which some people love more than others. There can be a huge range of cups flavors from rustic, bulked Organic lots to Plantation coffees. The plantations are larger farms that have their own coffee-processing wet mills, so they are able to control all the variables of production better than the small farm coffee gardens. That is where this Wahgi Valley Plantation coffee comes in. It is farmed by the Opais peoples of the Wahgi Valley, with some of the coffee grown on the plantation or bought from a stable network of adjacent farms. Like other PNG estate coffees, this lot is comprised of more cultivars than you can count on one hand, a mixed salad of green coffees: Typica, Arusha, Blue Mountain, Mundo Novo, Catimor, Caturra, and probably more! This indicates that, while buyers and sellers like to represent coffees being of one or two cultivars, in reality farmers tend to plant some on any type that comes along, a way of hedging your bets in case any particular cultivar doesn't pan out.

We usually offer Kimel coffees because there is always a stand-out lot from that plantation. But this Wahgi arrived as the standout of the early harvest. This particular PB lot is extremely nice. The dry fragrance is sweet like cane sugar syrup, especially vibrant at City+ roast level where plum and lychee fruit can be detected. The wet aroma has orange marmalade and plum jam notes, a very clean and sweet scent. There is an apple pie note on the break. While I preferred the aromatics of the C+ roast, it is the FC roast that shines in the cup. Stone fruit flavors (plum, peach) dominate the cup, with a cane sugar sweetness. It's a jammy flavor, and as it cools a violet floral note emerges, as does a blackberry sweetness. The finish has a slight wheat chaff hint, which might be distracting in another coffee, but works well here (thing weissbier). It's a bright and refreshing cup!





View Cupping Scores
Young Typica trees in PNG. Thanks Wendy DeJong
Country: New Guinea
Grade: PB
Region: Wahgi Valley
Processing: Wet-Processed
Arrival Date: October 2010 Arrival
Appearance: .0 d/300gr, 17-18 PB Screen
Varietal: Typica, Arusha, Blue Mountain, Mundo Novo, Catimor, Caturra
Intensity/Prime Attribute: Medium intensity / Clean cup, bright, fruited,
Roast: City+ to Full City+, the Full City being ideal. See the review comments.
Compare to: NOT like wet-hulled Indonesia coffees of Sumatra or Sulawesi. A bright cup with refreshing character and clean, jammy fruit notes.
View Cupping Scores
 
 
  Bookmark and Share
Papua New Guinea Kimel Peaberry

Papua New Guinea occupies the Eastern half of the island it shares with the Indonesian provice of Irian or simply Papua. There is very, very little organized coffee production from the Irian side, But the PNG highlands are planted with a variety of coffee types, and a combination of a few large plantations, and many many smallholder coffee gardens. PNG coffees can be a bit confusing. They are different from other Indonesian, Southeast Asian or Pacific Island types. All PNG coffees are wet-processed, which is a large part of their more bright, acidic profile, and why some basic aspects of the cup are indeed similar to a Central America coffee. Many other Indonesia coffees, such as Sumatra and the bulk of Sulawesi coffees, are "wet-hulled" which results in lower acidity, heavy body, and the funky "earthy" character which some people love more than others. There can be a huge range of cups flavors from rustic, bulked Organic lots to Plantation coffees. The plantations are larger farms that have their own coffee-processing wet mills, so they are able to control all the variables of production better than the small farm coffee gardens. That is where the Kimel farms are rather interesting. Kimel has their own wet mills like a plantation, but is actually a group of farms centered aroung the main 620 hectare plantation and is cooperatively owned by the indigenous Opais peoples of the Wahgi Valley. In a sense, it is a private cooperative, and mainly due to excellent altitudes and decent quality control at the mill, the coffee has a vibrant brightness while retaining some unique PNG origin characteristics. Also interesting is the fact Kimel is comprised of more cultivars than you can count on one hand, a mixed salad of green coffees: Typica, Arusha, Blue Mountain, Mundo Novo, Catimor, Caturra, and probably more! This indicates that, while buyers and sellers like to represent coffees being of one or two cultivars, in reality farmers tend to plant some on any type that comes along, a way of hedging your bets in case any particular cultivar doesn't pan out. Kimel is broadly available since Royal Coffee sells it, but there is a good range of quality from lot to lot, grade to grade. This particular PB lot is extremely nice, though lacking some body and complexity. The dry fragrance is sweet and piquant, especially vibrant at City+ to Full City. (City roast seemed a little grainy, oat-like due to underroast). The wet aroma has orange marmalade and cinnamon-allspice notes, and these come out in the cup flavor too. I was impressed how the clean brightness is stable through all the roast ranges, even into 2nd crack, where sarsaparilla/root beer flavors are present. City+ roast has apple cider flavors as well as floral touches; honeysuckle. While I didn't like the lightest City roast much when I first cupped it on 12 hours rest, it really balanced out at 48 hours, with sweet jammy orange-apricot flavor. In the finish there are some slight piney/foresty tastes, hinting at it's origin as a near-Indonesia coffee. The body is light, and it's not a cup with huge dimension/depth, but I think this is the best PNG of the year, based on all my cuppings.





View Cupping Scores
Typica trees under shade in Papua New Guinea,
Country: New Guinea
Grade: PB
Region: Eastern Highlands
Processing: Wet-Processed
Arrival Date: Late Dec 2009 Arrival
Appearance: .0 d/300gr, 17-18 PB Screen
Varietal: Typica, Arusha, Blue Mountain, Mundo Novo, Catimor, Caturra
Intensity/Prime Attribute: Medium intensity / Brightness, with traces of foresty-herbal flavors
Roast: City roast works, but only with 48 hours+ of rest. Otherwise, City+ to Full City+ was remarkably stable in terms of brightness and cup flavors. See the review comments.
Compare to: NOT like wet-hulled Indonesia coffees of Sumatra or Sumawesi. A bright cup with light body, and just hints of Indonesia
View Cupping Scores
 
 
  Bookmark and Share
Papua New Guinea AA Maloolaba

Papua New Guinea occupies the Eastern half of the island it shares with the Indonesian provice of Irian (no organized coffee production ocurrs from Irian, to my knowledge). PNG coffees can be a bit confusing. There can be a huge range of cups from Papua New Guinea, and the so-called Plantation coffees represent the cleaner character of the coffee produced on the island... more like a good Central American than part of the overall Indonesia flavor profile. The Organic PNG coffees have the more natural, rustic cup character. The plantations are larger farms that have their own coffee processing wet mills, so they are able to control all the variables of production better than the small farm "coffee gardens." All PNG coffees are wet-processed, which is a large part of their more bright, acidic profile, and why some basic aspects of the cup are indeed similar to a Central America coffee. Many other Indonesia coffees, such as Sumatra and the bulk of Sulawesi coffees, are "wet-hulled" which results in lower acidity, heavy body, and the funky "earthy" character which some people love more than others. This Maloolaba lot originates from the coffee areas of the Eastern Highlands, and is processed in the town of Goroka. It's unique because it bridges the gap between the more rustic Organic PNG coffees, and the cleaner Plantation lots: It is bright and lively, yet has the body of an Indonesia, and some rather Bohemian herbal/foresty notes as well. The dry fragrance is sweetly herbal, with a dash of thyme and a slightly minty accent. This turns to green apple, with a syrupy, dark honey-saturated sweet smell in the wet aromatics. There's an interesting tree-resin aromatic too, which is why it gives a somewhat foresty impression. It's striking to have brightness, sweet roast notes, and these exotic flora flavors in one cup, as if the brightness of a Panama had been mashed up with a clean example of Sulawesi coffee. Or perhaps we should think of the other wet-process Indos here, Timor, for example. In any case, it has notable balance. When properly rested (3 days) the body fill out in this cup, giving a buttery impression to the mouthfeel. As the cup cools, there is an apple skin texture to the finish, and soft floral notes emerge. This Maloolaba distinguished itself on the cupping table with a score of other PNG lots for bridging the diverse styles of PNG coffees, having the best characteristics of each.





View Cupping Scores
Coffee drying on tarps in PNG (Photo by Wendy De Jong).
Country: New Guinea
Grade: AA
Region: Eastern Highlands
Processing: Wet-Processed
Arrival Date: November 2008 Arrival
Appearance: .0 d/300gr, 17-18 Screen
Varietal: Unknown (Typica Appearance)
Intensity/Prime Attribute: Medium intensity /Balance, body, brightness, foresty-herbal flavors
Roast: City+ acheives the blanced cup I describe, but FC+ was quite interesting as well, with emergent chocolate notes. BTW: When cross-cupped against a clean Central Am. Coffee, the herbal-foresty notes are crystal clear, but tasted solo, you need to look for them more.
Compare to: A bright yet thoroughly Indonesia flavor profile.
View Cupping Scores
 
 
  Bookmark and Share
Papua New Guinea Peaberry WP Decaf

Papua New Guinea occupies the Eastern half of the island it shares with the Indonesian province of Irian (no organized coffee production originates from Irian) There can be a huge range of cups from Papua New Guinea, and the so-called Plantation coffees represent the cleaner character of the coffee produced on the island... more like a good Central American than part of the Indonesian profile. The Organic PNG coffees have the more natural, rustic cup character. The plantations are larger farms that have their own coffee processing wet mills, so they are able to control all the variables of production better than the small farm "coffee gardens." Kimel is offered broadly in the US now via the brokerage Royal, and is a solid coffee. But some lots have cupped very "green" and underdeveloped in character, others can be flat and uninteresting. This is the second time the coffee has been available as a water-process decaf lot, and the results are quite favorable. It's a very balanced cup, with good dense body, but also bright floral and fruit hints in the cup. There's a touch of cedar, brown sugar sweet notes, root beer, anise, and a lingering finish that has sweet basil qualities. It's actually quite nuanced for a decaf, and the aftertaste is outstanding.





View Cupping Scores
Older coffee trees with interplanted ground cover, Papua New Guinea (Picture by Wendy DeJong)
Country: New Guinea
Grade: PB
Region: Eastern Highlands
Processing: Wet Processed
Arrival Date: August 2008 Arrival
Appearance: .4 d/300gr, 17-18 Screen
Varietal: Typica
Intensity/Prime Attribute: Mild intensity /Sweet cup with balance, interesting nuances
Roast: City to City+ achieves the sweetness and bright notes.
Compare to: A bright, sweet and clean PNG, unique and not much like its Indonesian cousins (Sulawesi, Sumatra, Java).
View Cupping Scores