Australia

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, lower-grown "Island Coffee" flavor profile, so I have stretched the description a bit out of whack. Coffee cultivation began in Australia in 1880 in earnest and continued through 1926, but was found to be generally unprofitable, and the quality of the coffee was 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.

No coffees are currently available from this origin. The review is our most recent offering, provided for reference.
Australia -Mountain Top Farm
Andrew Ford of Mountain Top farm checks out the soil
Appearance.2 d/300gr, 17-18 screen
GradeFancy
Processing
RegionNew South Wales
Varietal(s)
RoastI like City roast here. Too dark and the fruited notes and rose-like floral qualities are lost.
NULL 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.