As we say adiós to Northern Hemisphere Central American and East African coffees, we begin to welcome a diverse set of incredible fresh coffees from the Southern Hemisphere. South American coffees, southern African coffees, and Pacific Island coffees all have a chance to shine as they land during our winter months here in the States.
Kimel, an estate located in the town of Banz near Mount Hagen in Papua New Guinea, has a long history of producing exceptional quality island coffee, and this year’s harvest is no exception. We’ve picked a batch of AA sized coffee for our Crown Jewel this year, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the new crop. It’s bright and citric like a Kenya, herbal like a washed Indonesia, and has that special something that only Kimel Estate Papua New Guinea coffees can bring to the cupping table.
The country of Papua New Guinea comprises the eastern half of the New Guinea island (the western half is part of the country of Indonesia) that rests like a disjoined puzzle piece off the northern coast of Australia. Commercial coffee production began in earnest in the region in the late 1920s, and is now the country’s second most important agricultural export after palm oil.
While the coffee growing landscape is predominantly smallholders, Kimel Estate was established by an Australian named Bobby Gibbs in 1974. However, in 1979 the farm was purchased by Kishan Pau and Pup Kaki, PNG natives representing a collaboration of local tribal groups. Kimel Estate is now 100% owned by the indigenous population. The estate boasts a permanent workforce of over 400 individuals, and housing, freshwater, schools and medical services are provided on the farm. Processing cherries onsite, the farm has employed recycling practices for the coffee pulp and water from the nearby Kimel river, and is growing its coffee under the shade of Grevalia and Albizia trees.