Brian Beyke

Joe Coffee - Baroida Estate Papua New Guinea - Craft Coffee - April 2014

Brian Beyke


Last September when Complex Magazine came out with their “Best Coffee Roasters in the U.S Right Now" list I immediately began to look at which roasters I had tried, and which I hadn’t.  To those I had not, I made it my goal to eventually try them.  Now, I didn’t actively hunt these companies down but I did add them to my list of sites to continuously check and keep up to date with.  Out of the 23 listed I had previously tried 8 of them, and have since added 7 more.  While one of those roasters was Ritual whom we visited yesterday, another on the list I was still waiting to try was Joe Coffee.  Today we’ll look at their Baroida Estate, Papua New Guinea.

Joe was founded in 2003 as a singular specialty coffee house in manhattan’s west village with the simple vision of brewing the highest quality, unique coffees and serving them with unsurpassed hospitality and knowledge.  In order to bring such highly curated coffees to their customers, they worked alongside some of the most renowned domestic and international roasteries.  With the July 2013 launch of their own roasting operations in Red Hook, Brooklyn, they now roast 100% of their own single-origin and blended offerings.  Whether in the roastery or in one of their now 10 cafes, they strive to effect their deeply rooted core value proposition: the desire to build, maintain and strengthen community at every level from producer to customer.  

This coffee comes from the eastern highlands of Papua New Guinea, a region known for its rich soil, biodiversity and the diversity of its native population. Several hundred tribes exist independently, cultivating the rolling grasslands situated between mountains that peak at 2300 meters above sea level. The rich topsoil is suitable for growing a range of produce, but in 1965 the government began encouraging the settlers of the area to grow coffee as a sustainable crop with long-term potential.

Ben Colbran, the founder of Baroida Estate, heeded the advice. successive members of the family have managed the farm, which sits between 1600 and 1850 masl. in 2005 chris, ben’s grandson, moved back to the farm to oversee several projects, but it wasn’t until 2010 that the quality of the coffee was truly discovered by the outside world. in that year the family began exporting their own coffee – not allowing it to be blended – and took the process into their own hands, thereby allowing the uniqueness of the origin to be expressed.



Roaster: Joe

Producer: Baroida Estate

Origin: Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea

Varietal: Typica, Bourbon, Arusha, Heirloom

Elevation: 1,650 - 1,800 mas

Process: Washed


Brew Method:

V60 no stir | 28g © to 454g (w) | 2:20 total time | 197 degrees 1.37 TDS | 20.58% Ext.

Intro is slightly syrupy.  A little grainy intro, with brown sugar and apple notes - dried fruits too like raisin, cranberry, prune.  A slightly tingly grape-like acidity resides in the cup, very clean and medium bodied - I was pleasantly surprised at first.  

Nuttiness appearing in the mid and finish too as it cools, and not in a dry mouthfeel way like some coffees.  It’s balanced nicely with the juiciness creating a really comfortable cup.

As it opens up more, it really showcases these soft savory notes with cocoa taking more of the middle lead. It still carries this nice fruity juiciness so the balance is pretty stellar, with a luscious and silky smooth body.  The deeper the notes get, the more it *feels* like a darker roast but I’m still leaning on the medium body.  It’s quite approachable for those darker flavors though - any coffee drinker I think would love this profile.

It is actually really fun the more it cools, as some sips you find sweet melon pops in the cup, but then others you find more smokey cocoa notes, and others molasses cookie notes.  It’s really quite interesting.  Diving into my wife’s cup she hasn’t started - which is now 90 degrees - I’m finding vanilla, stone fruit, and melon pretty nicely.  That’s actually a really fun starting point. (I may need to make this iced and see how it comes out)

What a cool coffee.


Brew Method:

Gino Dripper | 36g © to 552g (w) | 3:45 total time | 199 degrees 1.43 TDS | 20.17% Ext.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Greeted with a beautiful caramel/brown sugar sweetness - rustic and absolutely delicous .  Caramel apple notes present immediately with a crisp acidity that is pretty brief before being confronted with these nutty finishing notes. Seriously, this is a crazy cool cup.

It is incredibly clean, medium bodied but feels heavier, with these complex juicy notes that are so delicious, so deep, that I’m having a hard time putting to words exactly what I’m tasting. Apple, lime, cranberry, raspberry, notes may be some of those that add candy like sweetness, a bit of tartness, and now a little more lingering acidity.  Cooling further (113 degrees) it carries these dark stone fruit notes that become more noticeable with this overly sweet and juicy peach note, and a finish like dark chocolate shavings or cocoa powder.

Towards the end of the cup these wonderful vanilla notes come out (that if you keep following them in your mouth feel syrupy as they spill sweetness over the mouth), still fruity with stone fruit and hints of but less melon than in previous make, and still soft cocoa in the finish.

This is as pleasing as a lot of the Sulawesi offerings I’ve had.  Very surprising results, and still feels very heavy bodied in the mouth for those who like a bold cup.

Comfortable, complex, clean, candy-like sweetness.  



I keep coming back to thinking that this month’s Craft box was all about breaking down barriers and exceeding expectations.

I have only had a few Papua New Guinea offerings prior to this one, the most recent I immediately threw out after my first few makes of it.  Was it premature?  Maybe.  It just carried this quality to it that made me want to quit life.  This offering from Joe?  Quite the opposite.

The intro to the cup is quite warming, quite inviting.  It ropes you in with comfort then begins to entice you further with increasingly complex and juicy flavors developing all around the palate.  You start noticing the acidity, next the body, then before you know it full openness to flavor that is more playful than the savoriness that started the cup.  While not part of Indonesia, I did draw similarities to several of the Sulawesi offerings I’ve had recently.  I keep coming back to how enjoyable this cup was the more it cooled, and how surprised I was by the pops of flavor that I found.  A great re-introduction to Papua New Guinea that just may keep me from dismissing in the future.

Co-host of the I Brew My Own Coffee Podcast and always has all the chocolate. I also love to play board games. Yea, let's go do that right now.