Aiyura, Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea
Baroida sits just outside the town Kainantu in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, and the villages associated with the Tairora project surround the estate. This part of the Eastern Highlands is mostly rolling grasslands, but it has remarkable climate and great conditions for growing coffee and, really, anything. Before coffee was planted in this area, the Tairora Tribe inhabited it and mostly cultivated sweet potatoes and other subsistence crops until the 1950s and '60s when coffee became popular.
Baroida itself was one of the first coffee farms in the area and much of the coffee planted by the small producers of the Tairora Project actually originally came from seeds obtained at the Baroida Estate. Baroida today is only one of few estates in all of Papua New Guinea.
Papua New Guinea, in general, is a late-comer to the production of coffee, really only starting in the 1920s and not really taking off until the 1950s. Today, Papua New Guinea is most famous for how remote and culturally diverse it is. This remoteness kept outside visitors from venturing into the Papua New Guinea highlands until the early 1900s. This remoteness also led to the other very popular fact about Papua New Guinea which is that the hundreds of individual tribes in the country speak more than 800 documented languages between all of them. It is often stated that certain tribes did not know of others tribes living as close as a few kilometers away due to the rugged terrain and remoteness of the highlands.
Baroida was founded by Ben Colbran and wife Norma in the early 1960s, after purchasing the land from an indigenous man named Taro. At that time, the surrounding land was mostly grassland so for the first two years, Ben primarily cultivated vegetables that he would sell in the coastal town of Lae. In 1965, Ben followed the the government's encouragement to plant coffee, which thrived in this micro-climate. Ben owned Baroida until 1979 when he sold the land to a trust, but Ben's son, Nichol, stayed to manage. Nichol managed the operation until 1991 when he left to work on other projects. In 1997 he bought the land back, but, in those 6 short years while Nichol was gone, the farm had been mismanaged and had fallen into disrepair. Fortunately, the Colbran family immediately started to turn things around, all the while helping to create positive livelihoods for a lot of the local producers around the farm. In 2005 Nichol's son Chris moved back to the farm to work on many of the projects, in particular the cherry-purchasing Tairora project and the parchment-purchasing Lamari project. Chris's wife Melody has also been an integral part of the Colbran farm and, among many other contributions, she has helped build a local school for the community.
Another person of note is coffee veteran Stephen Romrundi, Baroida's Extension and Sustainability Officer, who hails from Mt. Hagen and came to Baroida in 2007 to help with the Tairora Network. In 2012, Stephen helped Counter Culture in separating varieties from the farm for tasting, and we always think of Stephen when it comes to projects that include the agronomy side of the farm.
June 17, 2013
Varieties: Typica, Bourbon, Arusha, MondoNovo
(less than 10% Caturra,
1,600 - 1,865 meters
Washed, Coffee is pulped using disk pulpers, and dry fermented for 36 hours. After
fermentation, mucilage is removed by pumping the coffee through pipes (Two lots this year were also post fermentation soaked, and we are still awaiting the final results of this experimentation.). Dried with outdoor tarps and mechanical dryers. Coffee is dried on plastic tarps on the ground, and drying times vary greatly on climate and can range from a few days to over 30 days. The last few years, drying has been a challenge as weather has been unpredictable and unseasonably rainy. This causes the Colbrans to use the mechanical drier more frequently, even though the tarps are preferred (This past harvest, more than 95% of the coffee for our lots though were dried solely using tarp drying. This year, after much conversation with Counter Culture, the Colbrans also built an amazing raised bed, which some experimental lots are being produced on, as well.).
Certifications:Counter Culture Direct Trade Certified