Green Coffee Offerings : Indonesia : Papua New Guinea
Upcoming Crop Comments
Last year we offered really great coffees from the Eastern Highlands, which we hope to repeat this year. Check out Tom's travelogue to Papua New Guinea in the Coffee Library. One strange place.... but these trips have strengthened relationships and we hope to see even more great coffees going forward.
About Guinean Coffee
Papua New Guinea is a distinct coffee among the Indonesians, even though it doesn't even have an entire island to call its own. Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern half of the island it shares with the Indonesian provice of Irian Jaya (no organized coffee production originates from Irian Jaya). The small-farm "Coffee Gardens" have a unique wild note in the cup but are in no way as earthy as other Indonesian coffees such as Sumatra and Sulawesi. These small farms are often organized into coops that share wet-milling facilities and are Organic certified.
The Plantation coffees are the larger farms and have the cleaner, more delicate and sophisticated cup character. While a lighter body than Javas, good PNG has the delicate notes, complexity, and sometimes the acidity or brightness of the best Central Americans.
I visited PNG last year and it was quite a wild ride. They call it "A mountain of Gold, floating on a sea of Oil." But you have to add Natural Gas as well, as a multi-billion dollar pipeline from the interior is being constructed. The booming economy in those industries makes everything screwy. A rural hotel room was $350 a night!
Much of the seedstock on Papua New Guinea is planted from the Jamaican Blue Mountain var. typica arabica, and with the Arusha typica varietal from Tanzania. Some are more modern hybrids or the Indian "Kent" varietal. There is also a lot of classic Bourbon coffee.
There are several types of PNG coffee I really enjoy: A bright, clean, fruited cup such as Kimel; A balanced lower-toned cup like Arokara Plantation (great for espresso) and a Sigri, the large farm that also does a lot of tea. Baroida has been our recent favorite. In general PNG is such a solid origin, with a range of different cup profiles, as opposed to Timor which has one basic cup profile. So I feel we have good reason to offer multiple PNG coffees (although business-wise it makes little sense, but hey, we don't operate like that anyway!).
Our Unroasted Papua New Guinea Coffee Offerings:(You will need to read the reference page to interpret terms and numbers used below). Check out the Sweet Maria's Coffee Home Roasting Forum for more conversation about home roasting this and other coffees.
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 and 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 Ben’s son Nichol 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 is at about 1700 meters 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 2300 meters) filled with small holder coffee producers. I visited last season, which was a large crop but a difficult one too. All the coffee came in a short time span, and the drying of parchment from the smallholder neighbors that the Colbrans buy from did not seem good, in my opinion. That is why this lot, from their own farm, seemed to have better picking and processing, since it is all done under the control of the estate.
This coffee is fruit-forward both aromatically and in the cup. The dry fragrance has a hint of rose, along with ripe fruits, saturated sweetness, and heads toward tropical. There's some spiced notes in there too with a touch of cinnamon and mace. The spice and fruit aspects shift in the wet grounds toward Syrah, with a spiced plum characteristic. Fruity chocolate (like Scharfenberger) and jam/preserves come up off the break. The fruit in the cup is definitely "bold" but sweet, and again goes toward tropical. There's strawberry and plum, as well as guava, and papaya. We tasted cola at darker roast levels that with the fruityness is a bit like Dr Pepper. There's a citrus quality to this coffee reminiscent of kumquat or overripe lemon. Baroida finishes with citrus zest and cocoa, especially deeper roasts. City roast may be a little too light for this coffee and brings about a slightly drying aspect at the tip of your tongue. I think City+ to Full City+ helps to stabilize the profile a bit. Allowing this coffee to rest 48 hours or more tones down the fruit without compromising the sugar content.
View Cupping Scores
To view reviews for out of stock coffees, visit our New Guinea Coffee Archives.
2005-2006 | 2004 -2003 | 2001-2002 | Pre-2000
Tom's Sample Cupping Log | Moisture Content Readings
This page is authored by Thompson Owen and Sweet Maria's Coffee, Inc. and is not to be copied or reproduced without permission