New Single Origin Coffee: From the northernmost coffee plantation in the world!

From grower to roaster.  An unrelenting desire to source unique single origin coffee, years of seeking it out and a dawn highway meetup to take delivery, all adds to the intrigue and stories behind the bean.  It’s the origin story of the crop that owner and master roaster David Kennedy loves so much.  We chat to him about his passionate pursuit of sourcing (and actually getting) this exciting new single origin: Nepal – Mt Everest Supreme!

Apparently, you got this bean off the back of a truck (literally)!  What happened exactly?

We had this single origin coffee briefly some years ago and I’ve have been unable to get any since then. I made a number of enquiries over the years and eventually got in touch with the grower in Nepal through Ekowarehouse. I then finally received a reply with a contact in Tasmania who agreed to supply 50kg of the green bean, and deliver it!

Turns out delivery was a loose term as the beans were put on a B-Double in Tassie.  They eventually made their way up the east coast where I had to liaise with the driver to find a suitable time and location to meet and collect the beans as the truck was too large to access Byron!

So finally on a Sunday morning at 7:00am on the side of the Pacific Highway (which must have looked very strange to the passing traffic!) I collected the beans.

How did you find out about this coffee?

I am always on the lookout for interesting origins and this definitely fits the bill.

Where is it exactly from?

The coffee is grown on the Plantec Plantation which is 75km north of Kathmandu on the Trishuli river.

The river is fed from Himalayan snow and glacier melt and it is these waters that are used to process the washed coffee.

Describe what is so unique about this bean?

It’s from Nepal! It is the northernmost coffee plantation in the world and certified organic. The coffee is also shade grown and the plantation has had a considerable positive impact on the livelihood of locals. Impact especially in regards to the employment and training of women as well as re forestation, soil conservation and habitat for local and migratory wildlife.

Who farms it?

The owner & organic coffee farmer Ujjal Rana is a lively and passionate Nepali, whose organic coffee business is giving back to the people of Nepal. Presently a 70-hectare coffee plantation in this vast Himalayan belt is the only producer of a superior quality speciality graded Himalayan organic coffee. The snowmelt water washed & shade-grown coffee is USDA organic certified & sun-dried.

His dream of growing coffee originated during his travels as a youth in Papua, New Guinea. After returning to Nepal, he worked as an aviation consultant while he and his wife found what they believed to be the perfect location for growing world-class coffee. Along the banks of the Trishuli River in Northern Nepal, the farm they chose had excellent climate and elevation, ample water and the skilled workforce needed to get started.

“We spent those early years experimenting with coffee varieties, finally learning which produce the best coffee here,” says Ujjal. Life was never dull as they encountered fierce leopards, pesky monkeys, and Maoists, along with all the usual challenges all farmers face. “When we first began, my wife and I watched in amazement as a leopard took down and consumed a buffalo right next to our house!”

How do you roast this single origin coffee to bring out the best flavours?

As with all our coffees we hand roast to ensure we get the best out of every bean. This bean needs to be roasted very carefully and ensure it’s not too dark.

How would you describe the flavor notes?

This is not a strong coffee but subtle with a smooth, earthy body, light acidity. Delicate floral tones lead to delicious hints of jasmine and cinnamon.

What do you love about this single origin coffee?

For me it’s more than just the flavor of the beans. It’s the story of the plantation and the grower and the amazing location of the plantation. All of this is present when you raise that cup to your lips. It’s always so much more than ‘just’ a coffee.

To buy this exciting new Nepal – Mt Everest Supreme Single Origin coffee online click here.