The coffees of Papua New Guinea have some of the most exciting cup profiles in the world. Often, the coffees produced in Papua New Guinea are lumped in with those of Indonesia, India, and other countries lining the Pacific Rim, countries where heavy, dark, and earthy are the standard descriptors. Perhaps it is due to the reliance of their next door neighbors in Indonesia on the "wet hulling" process that produces an unmistakable earthy flavor dynamic. Personally, I feel that this couldn’t be further from the truth, and that when you give Papua New Guinea a chance, you will find coffees that are clean and lush with sweet, fruity flavors and spice notes. Such is the case with our newest release, the Norikori.
The Norikori originates from coffees grown just outside the town of the same name, in the Eastern Highlands province of Papua New Guinea. The Eastern Highlands are characterized by steep mountain slopes and wide valleys, wet and dry seasons, and daily warming and cooling cycles that rarely exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Perfect conditions for growing coffee. It is no surprise then that coffee production is the economic backbone of the province, with most rural farmers having at least a small or shared family plot dedicated to the crop. Although farms in this area are becoming increasingly smaller over time as families grow and subsequently split their farms among family members, there are still a handful of larger coffee estates operating in the region. One of these remaining large holdings is the Colbran CoffeeLands Estate.
Nichol Colbran oversees the operation of the family estate located just outside of Norikori, which includes a washing station, cupping lab, raised “African” drying beds, and a school for local children. Here roughly 200 farmers from the surrounding 6 kilometers bring their small lots to be processed, and eventually become the Norikori. Although 200 might seem like a lot, the Colbran’s have developed extensive tracking and organizational systems that allow them to trace each lot down to the individual producer. Upon arrival, the cherries are thoroughly sorted for ripeness and quality, being held to the same standards as that of the coffees grown on the estate. The coffee is then depulped and allowed to ferment for 36 hours. Afterwards, the parchment is fully washed and then dried on raised beds.
The resulting cup is clean and sweet, with notes of sweet white peach, chocolates, and baking spices. It is fascinating to watch its range of flavors develop each day after roast. This is the perfect cup for crisp mornings as we transition into the end of summer and dive into early fall. You can find our latest roast here.