This season we went with what they call Kula processing. Kula processing means only dried on raised drying beds and double screened via color sorter and double hand picking. Basically means the best of the best from Carpenter Estates.
These Sigri Estate coffees are gems – nothing like your traditional PNG coffees. Almost a 0 defect screen with immaculate processing. You can just look at the beans and see the care and time that went into them. Sigri has been in a game for a long time but within the last 5 years has taken quality to a different level.
As with all of our relationships coffees, not only are they changing the coffee game for themselves, but also the whole area and region they are in. They are raising wages and education (and quality) for every farmer around them – the big project this year to unleash for the locals
All coffee bearing the Sigri name is grown at over 5000 feet elevation. Sigri considers soil and water conservation as a priority, and, the plantation is bird and eco-friendly. The plantation employs a medium density shade strategy, using two types of shade trees. This promotes even ripening of coffee cherries and provides habitat for at least 90 species of birds.
Sigri is a washed Arabica coffee and undergoes a rigorous wet factory process. Quality Control begins in the field; Cherry coffee is hand-picked and carefully checked for uniformity; it must be red and fully ripe which allows for the correct balance of sugar and acid within the cherry. This selected cherry is then pulped on the day of picking.
A fermentation process follows, a period of three days broken every 24 hours by washing – but unlike most other brands, the Sigri process follows this by total immersion in water for a further day, which creates a superior coffee. Careful conditioning of 21 days is followed by hulling, grading, color sorting and finally hand sorting. This combined with rigorous quality control before packing produces the finest green been for which Sigri is renowned.
All grades are then continuously sample-roasted and liquored by experts. This provides a final check on the quality of the green bean product, and is a practice unique in Papua New Guinea.
Similar to the AA bean but with a bit stronger fruit tones coming through. Silky smooth and very clean. Lower acidity with good sweetness and balance. Very chocolaty/caramel type cup of coffee with some very cool nutty(almond) accents. If you roast before 2nd crack, which is preferred, one can balance in some melon and fruit acidity into the mix which is a big plus to the depth of flavor.
Good almost anywhere – I would still avoid real light roasts for you will find a bit of raw acidity and underdeveloped darker tones. City plus to as dark as you want to go. To see it shine, keep it before 2nd crack. Dark roasts will impress dark roast fans but will burn out many tones that make this cup pretty stellar.
The quick story of Papua New Guinea Sigri (one can clear up a lot of information when you get on the ground somewhere):
What I and many others thought was Sigri Estate is actually Carpenter Estates – Sigri being only one of the areas of the estate (easily the most famous). The other two are Bunum Wo and Kindbng (sounds like Kin ding). Each of the three produces a different cup quality; PNG being full of microclimates really puts a different spin on each section. Each one is like its own village situated right next to each other, with separate wet mills, drying fields, nurseries, living quarters, and schools for each of the three sections. But they do share a couple facilities (dry mill, bagging, trucking to port) and many staff.
Each of the three sections of Carpenter Estates has separate fields for different strains and top-notch agronomists to grow the best beans. Most of these folks have coffee in their blood. Being a part of the coffee here is a birthright for them (seen as a cradle to the grave philosophy). Great pride all around.
LOCATION: Wahgi Valley, Western Highlands Province
ALTITUDE: 1550 m above sea level
SOIL TYPE: Volcanic
SHADE TREES:Old-growth trees