This will be a combined review, both of us having received samples. For a description of Bob and Jim's evaluation procedure, see our reference page.
Kunjun operates on a "nucleus estate" model, a large grower or plantation acting as a central hub, servicing smaller growers and block holders, assisting them with agricultural advice on pruning and fertilizer scheduling. They also provide transportation for the coffee cherries, access to discounts resulting from large volume purchases and the supply of seedlings. The estate is progressive in its farming and environmental practices and contributes ten percent of its profits to the farming community.
At 5,500 feet above sea level, in what was once a swamp, this coffee gets abundant rainfall and rich nutrients from the thick, black topsoil. These fertile conditions give the coffee its acidity, round body and herbal notes.
This is my favorite kind of PNG. It's complex and ever-changing as it cools bringing new layers of flavor with each succeeding slurp. Overall it's got a sweet, berry marmalade fruitiness with a "zap" of dill, surrounded by notes of buttered toast. And yet the cup is oh so clean and aromatic. As it cools, the fruit goes dark, dry and raisin-like while the dill turns to cedar. A smokey quality, only hinted at when the cup is hot, emerges as it cools. The cup is a delight.
Tasters are going to split on this coffee. The dominant taste in the hot cup is a very clean, fresh turpenny or creosote taste that is a part of the origin flavor, and more plant-like than petrochemical style of distillates one gets in darker roasts. As the cup cools and in the finish, brown sugar, plums, and raisin flavors come to the fore, while the turpenny recedes into a pleasant succulence. The cup reflects the prep; it is immaculately pure and ripe, with none of the brothy or salty tastes that mar many PNG coffees. I found initial flavors slightly unbalanced and gave a somewhat lower score than tasters who enjoy a predominant distillate flavor. In general, those who like very high toned coffees won't like this one; those who like low toned ones will think this review unfairly low.?
I added a cuppers point for the exceptionally clean cup, and excellent sweetness.
This coffee works well as espresso, especially for those who like a little smokiness.
Dry Fragrance: 4.6
Wet Aroma: 4.5
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 90.0
Dry fragrance: 3.75
Wet Aroma: 4.0
Cupper's Correction: 1.0
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 89.75