Green Coffee Offerings : Islands : Australia
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We are currently sold out of Australian coffee for the time being. Offer samples have consistently been lacking. Honestly, we don't think we will have Aussie coffee again in the near term.
About Australian Coffee
Mount Warning, near Nimbin, New South Wales, Australia. Mountain Top Estate is near.
Okay, it is a continent, and an island. But how do you classify Australian coffee? Well, it bears resemblance in the cup to the soft, sweet "Island Coffee" flavor profile, so I have stretched the description a bit, geographically. Coffee cultivation began in Australia in 1880 and continued through 1926, but was found to be generally unprofitable, and the quality of the coffee to be poor. It was re-established in the early 1980's in much the same areas as the original plantations on the Eastern coast in New South Wales up to Queensland.
Coffee is now farmed from Nimbin and Lismore, in New South Wales, to Cape York in far north Queensland where the large Skybury plantation is located. Skybury and the other larger plantations, near Mareeba on the Atherton Tablelands, are fully mechanized, but there are smaller farms where traditional hand cultivation is used.
When coffee cultivation was restarted in the 1980s, initial plantings were based on the local cultivar Kairi Typica and Bourbon, Arusha, Caturra and Blue Mountain imported from PNG. Yields were disappointing though, and unfortunately the farmers were putting yield above cup quality. Some newer cultivars have now been evaluated by QDPI and NSW Agriculture. The recommended cultivars for northern Queensland include Catuai Rojo, K7, SL6, Mundo Novo, Catuai Amarillo and Kieperson. For the cooler subtropical areas of northern NSW and southern Queensland, K7 and SL14 are preferred for warmer sites, and a local selection CRB is suitable for cooler locations. Hopefully, we will see small farms specialize in traditional cultivars in the near future.
Australian coffees are mild in general, and while there is a proliferation of small farms, the exported coffees are from larger operations. Overall, I waffle on the prospects of Australian coffee that breaks any barriers in terms of cup character. Mountain Top has certainly been my pick in blind cupping versus the northern coast coffees. Have we seen the potential of Aussie coffee, or is there more this origin can offer? The jury is still out. We have had this origin many years now - and vacuum packing seems to have greatly improved the quality of the cup since the long transit time from Australia can effect cup quality.
Our Unroasted Australian Coffee Offerings:Please refer to our Reference Page for definitions of terms and cupping numbers used below. Check out the Sweet Maria's Coffee Home Roasting Forum for more conversation about home roasting this and other coffees.
We are currently out of stock. The review below is provided for your reference.
Mountain Top is a farm in SE Australia, about 2 hours south of Brisbane and 5 minutes west of Nimbin. This selected area is unique because of the altitude and unique volcanic red soils. The farm itself is on the slopes of the extinct volcano, Mt. Warning. The area is a lush, subtropical environment, and is unique in coffee since this is the southernmost growing area of any coffee I know. It's also unique in that this growing area is quite distant from where most Aussie coffees come from, at least the Skybury from Mareeba in the north, which is a fully mechanized farm akin to Kauai coffee. Mountain Top is also a high tech farm, borrowing ideas from Brazil for cultivar, as well as picking using harvesting equipment. Mundo Novo is the type of coffee they plant: It has a peculiar rounded form which is somewhat like Bourbon cultivar, but is a hybrid of Bourbon. Bin 478 refers to the specific micro lot. We think the quality of the Mountain Top has been greatly improved by the use of vacuum packaging; our coffee arrives in cardboard-boxed vacuum sealed bags. It's such a long voyage that this coffee undertakes to get to Oakland, California, you could really taste the transport damage in diminished cup quality in the past. With this coffee though, I have found it needs some time to equalize after removing it from vacuum packaging, and into our zip bags. We let it "breathe" for a day before re-bagging it. I am really impressed with the cup this year. Yes, it's a little funky, but it is a semi-washed coffee (meaning that some fruity mucilage has been left on the parchment of the coffee to dry, akin to Pulp Natural coffee). The cup is crisp and light-bodied at C+ roast, and more intense and rounded at FC roast. (The body increases greatly with rest). It's an odd term but very appropriate here: juicy! Our lot this year is more fruited and floral than in years past. The dry fragrance has rose hips, and red apple. This cup is very juicy and has a sharp sweetness, and is again apple-like (mallic) with resinous piney hints. My lightest roasts were the best, City roast level. The coffee has sweet apricot cup flavors, rose hips, turning to nectarine in the aftertaste. So keep this on the light roast side! Overall, the flavors exist in a compact range, and the sweet aftertaste seems to linger for an appropriate amount of time. As mentioned, we have received the coffee vacuum packed in the last 2 seasons, not in jute bags, and this has helped preserve the origin flavors.
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We are currently out of stock. The review above is provided for your reference.
To view reviews for out of stock coffees, visit our Australia Coffee Archives.
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