Origin: Papua New Guinea
Producer: Colbran Family
Roast: Espresso Style + Filter Style
ROASTER NOTES | Molasses | Black Tea | Plum | Baking Spice
One of the biggest challenges that the Colbrans faced when they first started out was the issue of soil water-logging. The system widely used for planting coffee seedlings in Papua New Guinea was adopted from Kenya. When planting a new seedling, you dig a hole approximately one metre wide by one metre deep, fill it with topsoil and then plant the seedling in it.
This method was completely unsuitable for the wet highlands of PNG, where the average annual rainfall is 90 inches (as opposed to Kenya’s <60 inches). This issue was solved by digging drainage ditches in between each row of coffee. After a short time, Ben became very good at ‘reading’ the coffee to see what it needed (i.e. certain fertilizers or whether the coffee was diseased). This knowledge grew over time with the experience and these solutions were passes on to Nichol, who still implements them today.
Some minor adjustments have been made of the years as the Colbran Coffeelands has grown in size and output. More shade trees have been planted in order to reduce requirements for fertilizer as well as keep weeds under control. Of course, with more shade comes lower yields. Therefore, Colbran Coffeelands has established renovation and planting programs in order to meet future demand.
Nonetheless, according to Nichol, the high quality of coffee from Colbran Coffeelands is, in part, due to ‘old fashioned’ systems that have been in place since the late 60’s.