Brian Beyke

PT's Coffee - Sihereni Papua New Guinea

Brian Beyke

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I won’t lie, I was a bit surprised when I received a call from my wife while I was working that said, “You got a package from PT’s.”  I thought to myself, “I didn’t order anything from PT’s… and I don’t think I won any contests.”  When I got back to the house, I opened the package to find a bag of this Sihereni, Papua New Guinea and a letter from Mike Mazulo, production manager and roaster of Kansas’ PT’s Coffee.  In it he made note of the previous offering of theirs I’d reviewed, the Payacal Colombia, and explained this was a production sample of their new to come PNG they had also sent to Coffee Review.  As humbled as I was to receive it I was also a bit nervous, as I haven’t exactly had the grandest of love affairs with coffees from Papua New Guinea.  Spoiler… this one changes everything.  Let’s dive in.  


This distinctive coffee comes from the Sihereni Plantation in Goroko, Papua New Guinea. Instead of going through the traditional wet-hull processing method like most Indonesian coffees, this coffee is washed resulting a cleaner and brighter cup.

Papua New Guinea native, David Oromari purchased the Sihereni Plantation in 2000 which was in terrible state of disrepair. Using local labor and his knowledge from previous years in the coffee industry, Mr. Oromari brought Sihereni back from the brink. Using innovative methods of weed control, drainage, and shading, his trees now produce some of the highest quality coffee in the area and has reached Rainforest Alliance Certification. He has long-term goals of growing the plantation and raising the quality of coffee produced by his neighbors to create a sustainable and thriving coffee producing community.

 

Details:

Roaster: PT’s Coffee

Location: Goroko, Papua New Guinea

Farm: Sihereni Plantation

Producer: David Oromari

Process: Washed

Varietal: Heirloom

Elevation: 5,400- 5,740 feet

Harvest: June - August

 

Brew Method:

Gino Dripper | 34g © to 552g (w) | 3:35 total time | 197 degrees | 1.44 TDS | 21.67% Ext.

Interesting nose. A little herbal, a little sweet, a little woody.

I’m surprised jumping in, based off my TDS readings, that it isn’t more intense.  

Initial sips are richly smooth.  It’s hard to say it’s full bodied because it’s balanced and easy to drink, but it’s closer to full bodied than the others. Warm and inviting cedar-ish notes (at least some sort of wood) greet you in the cup, with vanilla underlying, hints of olive, plum, and finishings of baking spices.  

Diving further have hints of licorice, anise, and a drying but liquory finish.  It’s incredibly alluring, as all the notes seem to pop up to be noticed but never jump out of the cup.   

More creaminess comes out as it cools, with a pleasing orange-zest acidity.  There is a clarity to some of the sweetness that makes me think of grapes, with a buttery meets sugary body like molasses cookies sliding smoothly into a slight nuttiness that begins to emerge in the finish as well.

The ending to the cup is a different story to the rest, and all the more enjoyable.  Now more comfortably being described as medium bodied, caramel sweetness seems to flow through the cup, balanced by herbal notes, spices, hints of wood and sweet fruity hints that are a bit harder to identify.

 

Rich, enticing, molasses.   

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Brew Method:

Aeropress (Inverted) | 16g © to 240g (w) | 2:00 then plunge by 2:30 total time | 200 degrees | 1.36 TDS | 21.55% Ext. (Immersion mode)

Initially sips welcome you to an incredibly syrupy and smooth cup, warm and inviting with hints of nuts, vanilla cream, cherry, and woody tones.  There is this sweetness in the creamy finish that is really enticing.  Rich and spiced as if cinnamon sticks were in the cup, with lingering caramel and smoked cocoa notes.  

The shift happens about mid-cup in this method, presenting itself similar to a Sulawesi or Burundi.  There is still a little savoriness to the intro, but the cup becomes a little less rich and what it loses in richness it gains in juiciness.

Creamy vanilla notes now seem to fill out a lot of the sweetness, with more plum and cherry coming out, along with a brighter yet pleasing citrus acidity.  There are some refreshing pops of sweetness too that remind me of melon, but can’t specify one in particular. In the finish is sweet melted chocolate notes, now closer to semisweet chocolates.  Either way, it wants to remind you that the richness hasn’t fully escaped from the cup.  It’s really balanced, it’s just an emphasized cup.  Rich, juicy, and lingering.

I keep forgetting to mention the herbal or spice notes that seem to be in the cup - notes of anise and ginger - they just aren’t as easy to pick out here, which I think is a plus. They are noticeable enough to pop every now and then, but they don’t stick around enough to distract you from the cups enjoyment.

The final sips while still sweet with hints of grape, cantaloupe, plum, peach, cherry, baked apples, (and maybe a bit of black cherry or dark berries) swirl around in a caramel center before finishing like fudge.  Actually, a closer example might be a pack of Cosmic Brownies, but the ones with the nuts.

 

Rich, juicy, lingering.

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Brew Method:

Shaken Iced Bonmac | 28g © to 280g (w) |  140g ice | 2:55 total time | 198 degrees | shake over fresh ice | serve

One of the more savory iced coffees I’ve had recently, but it packs some flavor.  Nice and rich, much like it’s hot preparation.  Carries some nice chocolate in the form of chocolate pudding and chocolate malt, with nuts, caramel, and vanilla, hints of spices and buttery rolls.

Truth be told, this is probably one of the more approachable iced coffees, as instead of the fruity flavors of Yirgacheffes and the like, you get a beverage that drinks more like your frappuccino or iced caramel macchiato… and that is a good thing.

This iced has the added benefit (that you won’t find in those other cold beverages) of stone fruit sweetness emerging the more you sip, and leaves a really sweet and lingering aftertaste of chocolate, cream and caramel as if you just ate an eclair, macaroon, or cream puff (depending on your personal preference.)

 

Richly smooth, savory start, softly sweet finish.  

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Brew Method:

Aeropress (Traditional) | 19g © to 270g (w) | 0:45 then stir and plunge by 1:05 total time | 200 degrees | 1.42 TDS | 21.33% Ext. (Immersion mode) (preferred method)

Great aromatics coming from the cup.  Warm spices, red licorice, candy-like sweetness.

Diving into the cup is immensely juicy and syrupy off the bat.  Still has a savory start but more than that you find fruited clarity most reminiscent of melon.  Those notes don’t linger for too long, though, before you get swept with a vanilla and nutty finish noticed in other makes.  This make doesn’t accent the chocolate lows as heavily, so you have more honey syrupiness and fruit notes at play, along with the savories of course.  Still rich, round bodied, with a lovely and welcomed lingering finish.

Dried fruits, plum, caramel apple, a little herbal, and floral sweeps developing the more I sip.  The acidity is so transfixing, as it seems to softly dance on the palate. Not quite sparkling… but it is gorgeous.

The cup grows more buttery, more dense, with concord grape notes seeming to take the forefront of the fruity flavors along with a brown sugary sweetness and nutty ending. I said this last time, but this does really remind me of a Sulawesi or Burundi offering (atleast ones I’ve had) which have been immensely satisfying for me.

Stone fruit juiciness all but explodes out of the cup, flowing like a fountain and drenching all your taste buds, with kisses of floral infused honey following.  It ends almost candy-sweet, still with an incredibly lingering finish.  This one is sure to blow peoples minds.  Highly recommended aeropress.

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Brew Method:

Chemex | 20g © to 320g (w) | 2:35 total time | 198 degrees | 1.28 TDS | 18.96% Ext.

Aromas of English toffee, fresh praline, cherry, citrus.

One of the sweetest makes out of the gate.  Incredibly clean, nearly silky smooth, rich medium bodied.  Thinking a cranberry intro, vanilla bean sweetness in the center, and a chocolate mousse-like finish.  Spiced, herbal, and woody notes are pretty subdued this method but present.  

Cup growing more juicy and a bit prickly with blackberry underneath a molasses center.  Still creamy in the center too, with cleaner pops of grape, apple, plum, and peach amidst a softly honey-herbal elixir.  

Cooling further you find grape-candy sweetness and also stone fruit flesh, like peach and plum flesh, most notably.  There are black-tea notes in the finish that, thinking about it, have been there in previous makes but feels most noticeable here.  The acidity grows a bit more emphasized as it cools, taking the form of ginger on the tip of your tongue that is felt in the long finish.

Increasing melon sweetness protrudes through the final sips, with dances of cream, ginger, grapefruit, cinnamon, and honey.  

 

Sweet, juicy, emphasized acidity.

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Brew Method:

V60 no stir | 14g © to 227g (w) | 2:00 total time | 198 degrees | 1.36 TDS | 20.40% Ext.

Dense body.  A bit syrupy, a bit sweet, but has more spices and a slightly nutty finish in the first sips.  Lingering notes of tobacco, peanut butter, plum, tangerine, cinnamon, shortbread, and caramel.

Coming back to the cup you find clean cherry/black cherry sweetness, with dried fruits amidst a pleasing herbal and slightly syrupy body.  Balanced, soft yet rich.  

Notes of vanilla, licorice, baked apples, sun dried tomato, plum, cherry, grapple, honeydew, fudge, ginger, semisweet chocolates and finishing with warm wood notes all massage the palate in a chewy, lingering, yet slightly drying finish.

It never seems to get more than an orange-like acidity through the cup, although the long finish does give thoughts of grapefruit, but drizzles in honey and sprinkled lightly with dried lavender.  Body grows immensely buttery, overflowing with flavor, and overly delicious.

Buttery, rich, sweetly balanced.

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Brew Method:

Espresso | Crossland CC1 | Bottomless double basket | 20g in | 40g out | 0:28 total time | 202 degrees

Bright and smokey, creamy body, lingering finish.  Notes of plum, cocoa, and black cherry and then an aftertaste slightly malty and liqoury with a pinch of peach sweetness.

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I am grateful to PT’s Coffee for a number of reasons.  First off, I find it an incredible honor to be sent a production sample of a coffee pre-release.  Maybe I am just reading too much into it, but I feel humbled to either be gifted or have someone inquire about my thoughts on an offering.  Secondly, I am grateful that they took the time they did to find and source this particular coffee.  I doubt I am the only one who has found coffee from Papua New Guinea, generally, a little less approachable than coffees from any other region.  When a roaster can bring to us, the consumers, an offering that can completely change one’s perspective on the region, you know you’ve found a good one.  I’ve noticed it with other recent coffees I’ve tried from Congo, Brazil, Peru, and now here in Papua New Guinea.  

While this coffee presents itself rich and full of flavor, it carried the most succulent and savory notes of any coffee I’ve tried in recent memory.  Actually, depending on which way you prepare, it seems to highlight those sweet and savory notes slightly differently.  It had such an enticing profile from the moment your lips touch it until the last drop left your tongue.  A syrupy profile that defines what the balance between savory and sweet should be.  Again, if you are a fan of offerings from Burundi or Sulawesi, you may be reminiscent of those regions in this cup.  The more rustic intro to the cup isn’t exactly indicative of how it transforms and finishes, which keeps you wanting to savor each sip as it progresses from stage to stage.  Buttery and bright, complex and sweet, then dense, juicy and brimming with flavor.  This really is an explosive offering, was immensely, immensely enjoyable, and I can’t stress enough how eye-opening it was for me.  

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.