overview

Overview 

This is a traditional washed coffee from the Wahgi Valley of Papua New Guinea, produced on the Kimel Estate. 

The flavor profile complex and unique, our notes centered around its limey acidity, dried fig and pecan-like sweetness, and a finish with fresh herbs like rosemary. 

Our roasters found first crack to be barely audible on this coffee but were able to produce tasty coffee using a variety of approaches. 

When brewed, our baristas found pour-overs to offer a range of flavors, from bright lime and mango to fig and nougat sweetness.  

taste

Taste Analysis by Sandra Loofbourow 

Complex and delightful, this Papua New Guinea will have you coming back for more; I found myself halfway through the up without noticing how quickly I was slurping this delicious brew down! Bright acidity in the forms of lime, mango, and green jolly rancher are carefully balanced by an understated sweetness like dried fruits, especially apricot and fig. Sugars tend towards the pecan, praline, and sweet nougat realm. As for origin character, there’s a sweet sage and fresh rosemary finish that I find really elegant, and which brings balance and a certain roundedness to the cup. Incredibly complex and tasty, I found myself coming up with more descriptors with every sip.  

source

Source Analysis by Mayra Orellana-Powell & Chris Kornman 

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 the new crop is no exception. 

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. 

Kimel plantation was first established in 1974 by an Australian, Bobby Gibbs. However, in 1979 the farm was purchased by Kishan Pau and Pup Kaki, representing a collaboration of local landowners, the Opais being the main tribe. Although locally owned, the plantation is managed by expatriate personnel, appointed by the local directors with extensive experience in plantation management. 

The plantation has a permanent workforce of 432 and they are housed on the estate, which also provides schooling for the children and medical facilities for the workforce and their dependents. Clean running water has been made available to the estate workers by way of a community project financed by one of their overseas clients, and its implementation is overseen by the estate’s management. 

Since the estate is located along the Kimel River, from which it derived its name, it has access to good, clean water for the processing of its crop, which is a prerequisite along with sound husbandry and dedicated management to continually create quality coffees. The estate’s management also implements some ecology-friendly policies with regard to environmental issues, such as the recycling of pulp which is returned to the fields as organic fertilizer, and the recycling of water used during the wet processing. The cultivation is conducted under shade trees, like albizias and gravilleas. 

green

Green Analysis by Chris Kornman 

These peaberries are just adorable. They’re relatively small and fairly uniform in size, which should make for fairly even heat absorption in the roaster. They’re also somewhat middling in density and have a slightly above average moisture content with matching water activity. Store in a cool dry space for best results. 

Peaberries are genetic anomalies that on average affect about 5% of a given harvest. Instead of the typical two seeds per cherry, the zygote never splits and simply forms one seed—resulting in an oval-shaped “peaberry” bean. Many have claimed that this means more concentrated flavor, an allegation I’ve regularly declined to perpetuate. Others may claim it makes roasting difficult, which is certainly true if they come mixed with standard “flat beans” or are poorly sorted. In either case, no other genetic flaw in coffee garners such attention. They even have their own screen shape for sorting—an oval rather than a perfectly round circle. 

The Kimel estate is flush with all kinds of interesting cultivars: Typica in two forms (the legacy Pacific original and the Western Hemisphere iteration known as Blue Mountain), a spontaneous Bourbon-Typica hybrid known as Mundo Novo, and its small-stature progeny Caturra are also present. Arusha is the name of a town in Northern Tanzania, the cultivar belongs to the Bourbon/Typica group and is rarely grown outside of PNG and Tanzania. Lastly, Catimor can be found in the mix as well, a Caturra-Timor Hybrid cultivar with hearty resistance to disease and leaf rust. 

diedrich ir-5

Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Chris Kornman 

I could not wait to get my hands on this coffee for roasting. After tasting some early sample roasts and walking away with the impression of a highly citric and zesty coffee with a lot of acidity, I had a pretty good idea of what I could do with the beans. Dense little peaberries with high moisture and lots of acidity? You know I want to crank up the heat early and keep the airflow open! 

I charged hot at with idle burner and closed airflow, punching it up to 85% power within the first 30 seconds and opening the airflow to 50% as soon as the coffee reached its turning point. By the three-minute mark I was sailing along at a solid clip, and as color change approached I began to drop the gas a little and opened the airflow completely, not to be altered again for the rest of the roast. I pulled into color change at just shy of 4:30, about as quick as I’ve been able to responsibly exit drying stage on this machine, using a ½ batch (5lbs in a 5kg capacity roaster). 

The coffee absorbed all that early heat readily, and I was able to return to an idle setting on my burner within a minute of observed color change, trying to stretch Maillard reactions to at least 3 minutes, a metric I just barely succeeded in achieving. 

First crack on this coffee was pretty strange for me. I noted early pops at 7 minutes and a very low 370F, marking a slow, faint, but consistent true first crack at just past 7:30 and, again, a relatively low 377F. However, by 8:30 at 385F most of the cracking seemed to have stopped. I checked color a few times on the trier and finally pulled the coffee at 90 seconds of development (for a total roast time just under 9 minutes) at the low, low temperature of 389F. The coffee looked brown enough, and ColorTracked at a nice light 53 (ground), so I called it a day and waited to cup the next morning. 

The coffee held true to character on the cupping table with loads of bright acids. We picked up lime, pineapple, and kiwi notes, along with a wide array of fresh herbs, spices, and flowers like chamomile, sage, and ginger. The roast had a pretty quick finish but otherwise was lively and juicy. 

You should definitely check out the analysis on Evan Gilman’s Bullet roast and our Ikawa trials as well for some alternate takes on roasting these fun little peaberries from PNG.  

aillio bullet r1

Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman 

Unless otherwise noted, we use both the roast.world site and Artisan software to document our roasts on the Bullet. You can find our roast documentation below, by searching on roast.world, or by clicking on the Artisan links below.  

G Generally, we have good results starting our 500g roasts with 428F preheating, P6 power, F2 fan, and d6 drum speed. Take a look at our roast profiles below, as they are constantly changing! 

It has been far too long since we have had a coffee from Papua New Guinea! There seems to be quite a bit of conflicting or inconsistent information about this country and its coffee production available on the internet, but what I know for sure is that coffees from this area of the world have all the potential of the most vaunted origins, despite their praises being left unsung. Furthermore, reading some of the firsthand accounts of travel to PNG leaves a little to be desired in terms of both detail and compassionate comprehension of the industry in this country.  

Anyhow, this coffee is delicious.  

All of you out there who have been following along know that while I do enjoy acidity in coffee, I’m really all about that sticky sugariness. So, I roasted to bring out the sweetness in this coffee, but the acidity was still good and present despite my sweet-tooth drive. Having tasted Chris’ roast above, I knew that this coffee could harbor some really interesting acidity, with some herbal and grapefruit flavors really taking the lead. I wanted to calm this a bit, and I spent more time in Green/Drying in order to do so.  

To achieve this profile, I charged at the usual parameters (428F preheating, F2 fan, and d6 drum speed), but increased my heat application to P8 and kept it there for most of the roast. I increased fan speed to F3 at 3:50 / 310F, a bit earlier than usual, to really increase the drag on this coffee as it moved through yellowing and into Maillard. Then, sensing first crack was just around the corner, I reduced heat to P7 at 7:05 / 368F, which turned out to not be drastic enough. This coffee really wanted to cook into first crack! As Chris noted, crack on this coffee is a bit spare – really keep your ear to the drum on this one. When I was sure it was rolling, I reduced heat to P6, and increased fan speed to F5 shortly after.  

I was a little dismayed at the peaks in rate of rise as this coffee expelled all its moisture at first crack. This fretting was totally unwarranted. Shortly after tasting this coffee, I knew that this roast style was very fitting for my notorious sweet tooth. Something in this coffee shouts very loudly: “COFFEE.” This is the flavor that I always imagined coffee would taste like when I was a kid, only allowed to smell the grounds. The flavor of a really good coffee candy. Like the best coffee ice cream you’ve had.  

Personally, I would recommend keeping this coffee in Green/Drying for a good long time. The sugars here are really unbelievable, and the citric and malic acids still come through gentle and clear.  

 

You can find this roast on roast.world here: https://roast.world/@egilman/roasts/hIgcasECQR4bfacr3G6iM 

brew

Brew Analysis by Loren Shourd 

In my experience, coffees from Papua New Guinea have a lovely herbaceousness to them, and I was very excited to see what this coffee had to offer. We started our analysis with a brew on the V60 at a 1:16 ratio, looking to start our experience with a clean, crisp cup. We dosed 18 grams of the coffee into the EK43s and ground it at #8, brewed it starting with a 50 gram bloom for 40 seconds, a gentle agitation, followed by a pulse to bring it to 200 grams, and a second pulse to finish at 300 grams, with a total brew time of 3:30 minutes. The resulting cup yielded a silky body with the dry acidity of limes, the slight medicinal herbacousness we were anticipating, and a dried apricot sweetness.  

In an attempt to round out the acidity a bit, we did another brew on a Fellow Stagg. We increased the dose to 19 grams of coffee, and ground it at #9 on the EK43s. We started the brew with a 50 gram bloom for 40 seconds, followed by a pulse to bring it to 120 grams, 200 grams, and finishing again with 300 grams. This cup gifted us with the bright and slightly savory flavor of sundried tomatoes, a clean and soft sweetness reminiscent of raw sugar and nectarines, the fresh green of parsley, and a tea-like body.  

Origin Information

Grower
Kimel Plantation
Variety
Mundo Novo, Blue Mountain, Typica, Arusha, Caturra, Catimor
Region
Town of Banz, Western Highlands, Waghi Valley (approx. 50km South of Mount Hagen), Papua New Guinea
Harvest
March - April
Altitude
1580 meters
Soil
Sandy loam
Process
Fully washed after depulping and fermenting, then dried in the sun.
Certifications

Background Details

Kimel plantation was first established in 1974 by an Australian, Bobby Gibbs. It is now owned by traditional landowners, the Opais being the main tribe. Although locally owned, the plantation is managed by expatriate personnel, appointed by the local directors with extensive experience in plantation management. The plantation has a permanent workforce of 432 and they are housed on the estate in bush housing. The estate also provides schooling for the children and medical facilities for the workforce and their dependents. Clean running water has been made available to the estate workers by way of a community project financed by one of their overseas clients, and its implementation is overseen by the estate’s management. Since the estate is located along the Kimel River, from which it derived its name, it has access to good, clean water for the processing of its crop, which is a prerequisite along with sound husbandry and dedicated management to continually create quality coffees. The estate’s management also implements some ecology-friendly policies with regard to environmental issues, such as the recycling of pulp which is returned to the fields as organic fertilizer, and the recycling of water used during the wet processing. The cultivation is conducted under shade trees, like albizias and gravilleas.