We've just released our first Filter Blend — 70/30. You can find it here to try at home, but be sure to read on below to discover how it came to be.
We've been visiting the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea with the team from Fairtrade ANZ (Australia and NZ) for a number of years now. The trips have enabled us to grow a deeper understanding and respect for the farmers who work in tough circumstances there. We take pride in the relationship we've built with one Highland Cooperative in particular, HOAC, and their Chairman (former farmer himself) Daniel Kinne. Luckily for us over the couple of years these trips have introduced us to another Fairtrade Organic cooperative in the region - Unen Choit, and their Cooperative Manager - Molock Terry (below).
Molock, photographed by Josh Griggs, on our list visit to Papua New Guinea in May 2017.
Unen Choit is a small coffee cooperative made up of around 1,200 coffee farmers in the volcanic foothills of the Morobe region. Morobe was also the first area of Papua New Guinea to begin producing coffee when it first arrived in the country in the 1920s. Only accessible by boat or plane, this remote cooperative has to carry their yield over rugged terrain, through thick forests, deep gorges and across fast flowing rivers — and that's just to get the coffee to the boats that take it on to Lae for export. The toughest part of the walk for some farmers is going up and down a makeshift ladder (on right below) and that's Molock Terry, on the left below, climbing through thick forest to visit Unen Choit farmers.
The Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, photographed by Josh Griggs.
The first time our Managing Director, Mike, enjoyed the syrupy body and stewed plum flavours of the coffee Unen Choit was producing, he was pleasantly surprised. Back home, our roastery team back in New Zealand were exploring the possibilities of a blend specifically for soft brew methods and when Mike presented Unen Choit's flavour profile to the team and it seemed like the perfect fit. We used the acidity and fruitiness of our Single Origin Guji to highlight the body and stewed plum flavours from Unen Choit — 70/30, literally 70% Unen Choit & 30% Guji, is the final result.
So why is it a filter blend? Using a non-pressurised brew method brings out more of the acidity and fruitiness in the coffee, so whilst it is still a fairly robust blend soft brewing this coffee showcases the more nuanced flavours found in both the Unen Choit and Guji — something that would be lost in espresso preparation.
And why pink? Molock and the Unen Choit Cooperative's office team are based in the city of Lae, where they work from their Miami Vice pink offices. Spot the Kōkako Doorstop with it's PNG flag tail.
70/30 is best enjoyed as a filter brew, our top pick is the Moccamaster with a ratio of 60g of coffee to 1000g of water.