Each month I get the pleasure of choosing a new single origin coffee to purchase and roast for our Origin Select project. While we always carry a standard selection of single origins representing some of our favorite growing regions, this gives us the opportunity to highlight some exceptional beans on a seasonal basis that we might otherwise have missed out on!
Our Origin Select coffee this month comes from the the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea in Okapa. This sweet and savory coffee with tart fruit acidity is balanced nicely with sugary praline and citrus fruit flavors. Our roasters chose a medium roast to bring out the best in this Fair Trade certified and organically grown bean.
Roots #1 Farmers Association is a cooperative of about 1,590 smallholder producers started by farmer Tony Tokah in 2012 in an attempt to organize members of his community to deliver coffee more cost-effectively and share resources. Most farmers here don't have coffee "farms" but rather coffee "gardens," very small plots of land on which they grow the crops they need for the household as well as to sell for income. Coffee is an important cash crop, and organizing into a group with their neighbors and associates can help the farmers of Roots #1 earn a higher price for their offerings at the mill. Roots #1 also has a focus on encouraging women producers to participate in the coffee business.
The members pick their coffee ripe and depulp it the same day. It's fermented dry for about 26–36 hours, depending on the temperature, and washed using channels after the fermentation is done. The coffee is dried on raised beds for 3–5 days, again depending on the weather.