PAPUA NEW GUINEA KIMEL ESTATE AA

Before we found some personal friends in Papua New Guinea, this is the coffee we used to rely on. Awesome folks even though at the time we had never met them. One of the few Estate produced coffees (a bit smaller than Carpenter) and located just a couple miles down the road.

A couple years back times were rough with Kimel, PNG is a tribal land and not all the tribes get along all the time. To have an estate in PNG means you have to have an open environment between the tribes living/working on or near the estate. Unfortunately Kimel had a rough couple of years due to some tribal conflicts and coffee production and quality wavered pretty good. This is when we started working direct with Carpenter Estates and found some absolute gems of beans. When I got this years Kimel AA sample though some friends, we couldn’t help but to pick it up. Great screen, super clean cup profile. A bit milder and sweeter than last years Sigri. Plus it got here earlier, our Carpenter Estate beans are still a week or two away.

Tasting Notes: 
Medium bodied, low acidity and a clean cup. Perfect example of what a premium PNG should taste like. Not super jazzy but great prep and carries the tastes PNG fans are looking for. Smooth chocolate, bigger body and low acidity. Hard not to enjoy this cup. Lighter roasts are milder and sweeter, not quite the heft of the medium to dark roasts but tasty. Medium roasts bring out a bigger body and stronger chocolaty tones, turns a bit more semi-sweet as one gets real close to 2nd crack. Dark roasts get smoky and thicker with a little bitter edge to it.

Roasting Notes:
Although traditionally PNG coffees are taken a little darker, go a shade lighter that you think. We thought a city + roast was wonderful. Smooth, sweet and more down the milk chocolate alley. Maybe a little hint of acidity lighter but with a 2-3 day setup, it will be gone. Darker roasts work great with this bean but turn it stronger, loses its delicate tones and shows more Indo style tones into 2nd crack.



Not my best picture but I spent a lovely evening at the Mt Hagen Club talking with Brian (Kimel Estate Manager) about our mutual passion for coffee.

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KENYA NYERI BARICHU GATOMBOYA AA – TOP LOT

This is a top cupping lot from the Gatomboya coffee factory in Nyeri. Very tasty with some exotic acidic fruit notes upfront (grape/lemon/orange) and a strong classic and super clean chocolate spice undertone.

This cup is sourced from family-owned farms organized around the Gatomboya Factory (wet mill) in Nyeri County, Kenya. The Barichu Farmers Co-operative Society Limited manages the Gatomboya Factory, which processes coffee from 600 members who generally cultivate approximately 250 coffee trees on half-acre plots.

Tasting Notes: 
Strong coffee. Kenyans are always a little more extreme in their tones and this cup is no exception. Higher acidity with a fuller body and heavy balanced darker tones. The brightness upfront really shines at the light to medium roasts, a purple/red grape skin like tone mixing with some floral and lemony acidity is quite the tasty treat. The acidity is balanced with a chocolaty factor but one that’s unique to Kenya, very spicy, almost a peppery/currant herbal chocolaty tone. The darker tones are greatly accentuated at the medium to dark roast levels, will turn a bit edgy into 2nd crack.

Roasting Notes: 
A Kenyan top lot is all about the brighter tones. With this lot, to see it shine, a nice medium roast is the best bet but be prepared for a bit of acidity coming through; gives the cup a huge depth of flavor. Dark roasts will be pretty awesome as long as you like strong coffee, light roasts are only for acidic fans.

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KENYA KIAMBU KIRIGA ESTATE AB

Usually Kenyan coffee lose some of their track-ability through the mill aggregation model. This cup is cool for its an estate produced offering, where is came from and the folks behind it are well known.

Kiriga was established in 1954 and currently has 130 acres of land in use for coffee cultivation, which stretches along the Chania river, the natural border between Kiambu and Muranga counties and the source of the famous Chania falls. Brian Gakunga inherited the estate from his father, Aloysius Gakunga, who first planted coffee for his father (Brian’s grandfather) in the 1950s until he realized his own dream of purchasing the the Kiriga Estate, which he had admired since Childhood. Kiriga has its own mill where cherry selection, depulping, fermentation, washing, and drying are meticulously executed. The Kiriga estate also runs a local pre-school that has several dairy cattle to ensure that the children always have access to fresh milk.

Tasting Notes: 
A bit mellower and smoother than most of the prime AA lots. No missing this cup is a Kenyan though, decently strong acidity upfront especially on the lighter roast side; comes off pretty buzzy and citric with a little soft fruit. Smooth and not over the top herbal spice notes in its balanced more chocolaty undertones. If you want to shoot for a more acidic bright cup, roast it a bit lighter, looking for more of the robust spice and chocolaty tones, take it a bit darker.

Roasting Notes: 
This cup like most Kenyans, its best to avoid extreme roasts, too light or too dark will highly limit the fans of this cup. Very drinkable by anyone at a nice strong medium roast, only those who love classic Kenyan coffees will like it decently light or decently dark.

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INDONESIAN SUMATRA MANDHELING UTAMA GRADE 1

This cup is sourced from family owned farms organized around the UtamaGro cooperative, located in the Takengon highlands of the Aceh province on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. UtamaGro cooperative currently has 1174 members. On average, producers cultivate coffee on 2.5 acres of land using their own micro-mills to depulp and dry coffee. The cooperative hosts regular training on best agricultural practices to assist small producers with their organic certification while improving the quality of their coffee.

Tasting Notes: 
Full bodied and darker toned, low acidity with pretty clean chocolaty and smoky tones. Medium roasts are very smooth and creamy with just a hint of a sweet edge. A little hint of that classic herbal pete moss.

Roasting Notes: 
Medium to dark roast coffee, light roasts will be pretty underdeveloped and a little grassy but it blooms into an awesome cup starting about halfway between first and second crack.

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INDONESIAN SUMATRA FTO TAKENGON SARA ATE

These beans are sourced from small scale producers associated with the Sara Ate Cooperative which was founded in 2011. Members of Sara Ate cooperative come from villages near Takengon, a well-known coffee town in the province of Aceh located at the northern end of Sumatra. The cooperative currently has approximately 517 small coffee producing members. The typical processing method used by Sara Ate coffee producers is called “Giling Gasah” in the Bahasa language. This processing method starts with a locally made pulping machine called a “luwak” that removes the outer skin from the coffee cherries which are left to ferment for up to a day. Then the coffee is washed to remove the rest of the cherry and dried in parchment until the moisture content is reduced to 30% to 35%. Finally the parchment is removed from the bean while in this semi-wet state which gives the beans their unique bluish-green appearance.

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INDONESIAN SULAWESI TOARCO JAYA PB FULLY WASHED

The Peaberry is the rarity out of the three Toarco offerings, Indo plants just don’t throw off the amount of PB’s that many other countries have. Larger beaned and dense, awesome screen, this is a tasty offering, a little hard to justify the price over the AA but is a bit bolder in its tones. A wonderful cup.

Just about as unique as you can get for a Sulawesi. Thick and creamy but the flavor profile is very far from your average semi-washed Indonesian cup.

For years, this coffee was only available in Japan, as the estate is owned by the Japanese roaster Key Coffee. In recent years they have made it available to us. Established in 1976, this plantation has been undertaking a fully washed process that is unlike anything else produced in Asia. After the harvest, the cherry is stripped off by a mechanical de-pulper and the parchment is allowed to ferment overnight, with no water added. The next morning, the parchment is thoroughly rinsed in tile lined channels and laid out to sun dry. Every parcel is cupped five times between the patio drying and the final bagging. The plantation has a total of 530 hectares, and 300 hectares are planted.

Tasting Notes:
Crisp tones, slight citrus note with an aromatic hints of a light fruit tone that come through in the cup, full bodied, sweet and clean this is a stronger cup of a coffee! Just a bit of the classic Indo earthiness, I might link this coffee closer to an exotic Colombian than an Indo (which is way cool). Very nice rich chocolate tones (a little sweet malt/caramel as it cools) add to the mix of delicate flavors present in this cup. A slight smoky aftertaste can be picked up at the darker roast points. This is a must try for anyone who likes a real full bodied complex cup of joe!

Roasting Notes:
We enjoyed this Sulawesi at a darker roast, still nicely complex and balanced. Darker roast will promote that very thick and creamy cup but will mute most of the brightness which is pretty cool to have in the flavor profile.

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INDONESIAN SULAWESI TOARCO JAYA AA FULLY WASHED

AA is there nicest bean screen, a bit smoother than the A screen with an accentuated soft fruit tone.

Just about as unique as you can get for a Sulawesi. Thick and creamy but the flavor profile is very far from your average semi-washed Indonesian cup.

For years, this coffee was only available in Japan, as the estate is owned by the Japanese roaster Key Coffee. In recent years they have made it available to us. Established in 1976, this plantation has been undertaking a fully washed process that is unlike anything else produced in Asia. After the harvest, the cherry is stripped off by a mechanical de-pulper and the parchment is allowed to ferment overnight, with no water added. The next morning, the parchment is thoroughly rinsed in tile lined channels and laid out to sun dry. Every parcel is cupped five times between the patio drying and the final bagging. The plantation has a total of 530 hectares, and 300 hectares are planted.

Tasting Notes:
Crisp tones, slight citrus note with an aromatic hints of a light fruit tone that come through in the cup, full bodied, sweet and clean this is a stronger cup of a coffee! Just a bit of the classic Indo earthiness, I might link this coffee closer to an exotic Colombian than an Indo (which is way cool). Very nice rich chocolate tones (a little sweet malt/caramel as it cools) add to the mix of delicate flavors present in this cup. A slight smoky aftertaste can be picked up at the darker roast points. This is a must try for anyone who likes a real full bodied complex cup of joe!

Roasting Notes:
We enjoyed this Sulawesi at a darker roast, still nicely complex and balanced. Darker roast will promote that very thick and creamy cup but will mute most of the brightness which is pretty cool to have in the flavor profile.

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INDONESIAN SULAWESI TOARCO JAYA A FULLY WASHED

DESCRIPTION

Just about as unique as you can get for a Sulawesi. Thick and creamy but the flavor profile is very far from your average semi-washed Indonesian cup.

For years, this coffee was only available in Japan, as the estate is owned by the Japanese roaster Key Coffee. In recent years they have made it available to us. Established in 1976, this plantation has been undertaking a fully washed process that is unlike anything else produced in Asia. After the harvest, the cherry is stripped off by a mechanical de-pulper and the parchment is allowed to ferment overnight, with no water added. The next morning, the parchment is thoroughly rinsed in tile lined channels and laid out to sun dry. Every parcel is cupped five times between the patio drying and the final bagging. The plantation has a total of 530 hectares, and 300 hectares are planted.

Tasting Notes:
Crisp tones, slight citrus note with an aromatic hints of a light fruit tone, full bodied, sweet and clean this is a stronger cup of a coffee! Just a bit of the classic Indo earthiness, I might link this coffee closer to an exotic Colombian than an Indo (which is way cool). Very nice rich chocolate tones add to the mix of delicate flavors present in this cup. A slight smoky aftertaste can be picked up at the darker roast points. This is a must try for anyone who likes a real full bodied complex cup of joe!

Roasting Notes:
We enjoyed this Sulawesi at a darker roast, still nicely complex and balanced. Darker roast will promote that very thick and creamy cup but will mute most of the brightness which is pretty cool to have in the flavor profile.

SEE OUR FULL COFFEE LIST HERE!

INDONESIAN FLORES SEMI WASHED BAJAWA NGURA “KOMODO DRAGON”

This coffee is sourced from family owned farms located on the slopes of the Inerie volcano in the Ngada regency of Flores, one of the big islands in the Lesser Sunda archipelago of Indonesia. Over the last decade, a growing number of farmer groups have pooled resources to improve upon processing coffee using wet-hulling techniques (called “Ngura” in the Bajawan language) similar to those found in Sumatra. Attention to detail is exquisite, reflected in the ripe cherry selection, raised bed drying, and hand sorting done three times before export.

Tasting Notes:
A cool and slightly different spin from an Indonesian Sumatra but right along the same taste profile. Low acidity with a fuller body and mostly darker toned. If you roast it before 2nd crack you can notice a little hint of acidity but it is pretty faint. Chocolaty, smoky, earthy (in a good contrast) and thick. Good as a single origin drinker for an Indo fan, very clean prep and a classic and clean Indo profile, or good for a blend component to raise body and give darker toned contrast.

Roasting Notes:
Medium to dark roast coffee will serve this guy the best – try for a quicker roast to retain a little more crisp semi-sweet tones. Easy to roast for an Indo, clean screen and nice bean sort.

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INDIAN MONSOONED MALABAR

DESCRIPTION

Indian Monsooned Malabar is a very unique and exotic coffee; usually people have a love/hate relationship with this bean but it is one of our top sellers year in and year out.

Monsoon Malabar coffee is prepared from Arabica cherries (“cherry” refers to dry-processed coffees in India). After grading, the coffee is transported to the coastal city of Mangalore where the “monsooning” is carried out in large openwalled warehouses.

During the rainy months of June through August, the coffee is spread inside the warehouses with very good aeration and ventilation at a particular thickness so that the coffee slowly absorbs moisture. After it absorbs sufficient moisture and bloats in size, it has to be periodically bulked and bagged and stacked so as to ensure proper and uniform “monsooning.” This process has to be carried out many times during the months of the monsoon.

After September, when the rains subside and the temperatures are higher, the ghostly white and swollen beans are sent through the final grading (gravity tables and hand-sorting) in order to obtain the Malabar export quality. The farmers not only produce coffee, they also grow pepper, cardamom, and oranges. Most of the farms are 80 to 100 years old and belong to third generation growers.

Tasting Notes:
A very low acidity, thick and creamy, overly earthy style cup of coffee. There is a lot of sweet tones in this cup depending on the roast and one can taste a little hint of the natural processing soft fruit tones and classic Indian spice notes. A pretty wild cup for you stronger coffee fans or espresso heads.

Roasting Notes:
Usually used for espresso at the darker roast points but many of our customers enjoy the single origin drip brew or french press at a slightly lighter roast point.

GUATEMALAN ANTIGUA LOS VOLCANES

DESCRIPTION

This cup comes from family-owned farms located near the city of Antigua between volcanoes named Agua (water) and Fuego (fire) within the department of Sacatepequez, Guatemala. Coffee produced in the Antigua region has a protected designation of origin (PDO) because of Antigua’s renowned coffee reputation. Coffee is traditionally grown in this region under a canopy of grevillea trees and native shade trees called chalum (ingas).

Tasting Notes: 
Antigua’s are generally gentle cups of coffee with a chocolaty versus floral cup profile. This one follows suit but is not super floral. One will get smooth and defined chocolaty notes with just a hint of crispness at the lighter roast profiles breakdown into just a hint of floral as the roast progresses. Gets a bit smoky and fuller bodied into the darker roasts. A great everyday drinker!

Roasting Notes: 
Medium to dark roasts are where this bean will shine but will be tasty light to dark. Light roasts just don’t have time to develop those lovely chocolaty notes. Easy bean to roast and play around with.

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ETHIOPIAN YIRGACHEFFE GR. 2 WASHED GELANA ABAYA

DESCRIPTION

A great and super fresh new arrival.

Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Washed Gelana Abaya is sourced from small family owned farms located in Gelana and Abaya woredas (district). These two woredas are located in the Oromia Region in Ethiopia. Ripe cherries are carefully selected and immediately placed on raised beds that are constructed to ensure proper air circulation and temperature control for an optimal drying process. Cherries are also turned regularly on the beds to prevent damage during the drying process. The cherries are stored in a local warehouse after the moisture is reduced to between 11.5 and 12 percent, and then transported to Addis Ababa where the coffee is milled and exported.

Tasting Notes: A very smooth and rich cup of coffee mainly shooting towards a chocolaty spice note with just a little floral note upfront. Low to medium acidity mostly only present at the lighter roast points, adds a little crispness until you get close to 2nd crack in which the acidity will be non-existent.  A great cup to drink all day long.

Roasting Notes: A nice medium roast lets this cup shine. Smooth with just a hint of acidity. A quicker roast helps it retain the little floral upfront. Tasty lighter or darker as well.

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ETHIOPIAN ORG. NATURAL YIRGACHEFFE GR. 1 GEDEB – BOGALI TURKI TOP LOT

DESCRIPTION

This Ethiopian Natural Yirgacheffe is a super tasty single farmer offering, a rare a very traceable bean.

Bogale Turki, who produced this delightful dry processed batch of beans, farms coffee on a 30 acre plot in the Banko Chelchele kebele (neighborhood) of Gedeb woreda, south of Yirgacheffe and just west of the bulgy border with the vast Oromia region.

Although grown by Bogale Turki these beans are  processed as a separate micro-lot by Tesfaye Roba. Trick natural processing is often done by a specialty 3rd party. Very tricky to nail the taste profile of a stellar natural.

Bogale’s 30-acre farm is located near the community of Chelchele in the Gedeb district of the Gedeo Zone. Tesfaye and his brothers recently took over farm operations for their mother, Bedihatu Jibicho (now approaching 100 years old) and also began processing and exporting coffee for neighbors like Bogale. Bogale has been cultivating coffee for 12 years but this is the first year, with the help of Tesfaye, that he has been able to sell his coffee as a micro-lot. Coffee is Bogale’s main source of income that he uses to support his nine children (5 boys and 4 girls).

Tasting Notes:
A clean, smooth and exotic cup with some awesome complexities. The aroma hits that dark fruit note on the head – smells like floral blueberries and blackberries. Its body is smooth, rich and clean. The flavor has many layers of lemon-grass, berries, chocolate, and orange peel. A delicate cup – mostly going after those fruity floral and sweet tones but does have that classic Yirgacheffe spice note not always present in the naturals.  We do not recommend roasting this dark by any means. Super light roasts are clean but much more citric, city + (light to medium) really brings forth the berry notes, a jammier body but still retains a little orange-ish acidic sparkle note. Strong medium roasts are pretty fantastic as well, balances the cup nicely, still delicate and sweet as can be but without that citric edge to it.

Roasting Notes:
Light to medium roasts are where its at 100% on this cup. If your a dark roast fan, look to some other offerings. Roasts awesomely easy for an Ethiopian Natural,  even roasting but does have a bit higher chaff content. One may want to give it a couple days setup if shooting for those real light roasts. We recommend starting with a nice medium roast and adjusting to personal taste preference.

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ETHIOPIAN NATURAL SIDAMO 3

DESCRIPTION

This Ethiopian Natural Sidamo is put together by Grima Edema who has more than 20 years of experience exporting coffee from the Kercha district within the Guji zone in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Coffee producers deliver their ripe cherries to Grima’s washing station where the cherries are sorted an immediately placed on raised beds and dried over a period of 15 to 20 days. The raised drying beds are carefully constructed to ensure proper air circulation and temperature control for an optimal drying process. Cherries are also turned regularly on the beds to prevent damage during the drying process. The cherries are stored in a local warehouse after the moisture is reduced to less than 12 percent. Then the beans are transported to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, to be milled and prepared for export. Grima’s control of processing, from washing station up to the final export stage, preserves the coffee from damage and results in an exceptionally clean and sweet cup profile.

Tasting Notes:
A very diverse flavor set; soft fruit, citrus, herbal, chocolate, malt and smoke are just a few of the main flavors one can see in this cup. Very dependent on roast – lighter roasting gives much more of the citrus, tropical like fruit with just a hint of a chocolaty factor. Darker roasts produce much more of a chocolaty factor with a bit of a strawberry fruit note and good sweetness, far less acidic and very enjoyable. Compared to the last couple of Sidamo Naturals, this guy is a little mellower and smoother with all the same great tones.

Roasting Notes:
This is a tricky coffee to roast – classic Ethiopian natural, some cultivated beans, some wild beans, a diversity of roast colors will be seen but that all adds to the heritage of this bean type. We liked it best right at the full city mark – not as bright or citrusy but real nice developed fruit notes and nice and chocolaty. Many lighter roast fans will like to take it lighter – 2 out of 6 here who tried it did like the lighter roasts better – super dark roasts will get pretty edgy but have very nice aromatics and a strong chocolaty smoky cup profile.

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