Compared to the coffees from nearby Indonesia, and Southeast Asia, Papua New Guinea (“PNG”) coffees can be a bit confusing. All PNG coffees are wet-processed, which explains why they have a brighter, more acidic profile, and why some basic aspects of the cup can be vaguely similar to Central America coffees. Most Indonesia coffees (Sumatra, and most Sulawesi) are “wet-hulled” which results in lower acidity, heavy body, and the funky “earthy” character. With PNG there can be a huge range of cup flavors from rustic, bulked Organic lots to Plantation coffees. The plantations are larger farms that have their own coffee-processing wet mills, so they are able to control all the variables of production better than the small-farm coffee gardens. That is where the Kimel farms are rather interesting. Kimel has their own wet mills like a plantation, but is actually a group of farms centered around the main 620 hectare plantation. Kimel is cooperatively-owned by the indigenous Opais peoples of the Wahgi Valley. In a sense, it is a private cooperative, and mainly due to excellent altitudes and decent quality control at the mill, the coffee has a vibrant brightness while retaining some unique PNG origin characteristics. Also interesting is the fact Kimel is comprised of more cultivars than you can count on one hand, a mixed salad of green coffees: Typica, Arusha, Blue Mountain, Mundo Novo, Catimor, Caturra, and probably more! This indicates that, while buyers and sellers like to represent coffees being of one or two cultivars, in reality farmers tend to plant some on any type that comes along, a way of hedging your bets in case any particular cultivar doesn’t pan out.
The dry fragrance has sweet smells of brown sugars and malted grain notes at City+, with Full City showing more chocolate-forward smells. The wet aroma adds a sweet layer of honey and browned butter, with a clean, dark brown sugar note in the steam. City+ roasts brew up a balanced, sweet cup, honey sweetness giving way to a spectrum of flavor accents like green tea, honey, rindy orange, and some roasted barley in aroma. This isn’t a particularly high-toned coffee at this roast level, but does have moderate level of acidity. If you like our wet-processed Sulawesi offerings you will appreciate the lighter touch on the Kimel AA. While the darkest roast I tested did not breach into 2nd crack, deep chocolate and a note of sarsparilla are what I picked up on, with subtle hints of safron, and piney ‘forest’ type earth tones. In between these two roast extremes, the cup was very balanced, possessing ample sweetness, and quite a bit more.