Honeydew . Vanilla . Macadamia
Bolaven Plateau, Southern Laos
LAOS - NONG KALI
Light / Filter Roast
A BIT ABOUT THIS COFFEE
This small lot of the rare Java variety was produced by Mr. Vilai in Nong Kali village, situated on the picturesque Bolaven plateau in Southern Laos.
Nong Kali is a peaceful village, home to verdant rolling hills covered with small coffee plots in and amongst natural forests. Red dirt roads (used as much by livestock as vehicles) link small traditional villages that are producing some of the best honey processed arabica in Laos.
Vilai began his journey toward specialty production about 6 years ago and his honey processed Java lots are now highly sought after. This particular lot is a delicious showcase of the potential here.
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT
Soft fruit and nut notes combine with a honeyed sweetness to create a wonderfully balanced cup. We think this coffee is great across multiple brew methods, however as a filter brew it's subtle, sweet notes are slightly more pronounced.
For this lot, a white honey processing method was used, whereby the coffee cherries are pulped/semi-washed, leaving a small amount of sugary fruit mucilage on the coffee parchment during the drying phase.
HOW TO BREW
This is our second time purchasing coffee from Mr Vilai. Our relationship model in Laos is a little more involved than with other partners, as here we purchase dried parchment directly from individual families enabling them to focus on what they do best; farming and processing the best coffee they can.
This way farmers don’t have to worry about dry-milling, sorting, bagging, transport or the complexities related to export. They also set their own price and can better account for their total costs. It’s substantially more involvement and effort for us, but it’s a model that we are proud to say is the most mutually beneficial.
Coffee was first brought to the Bolaven plateau a little over a century ago by the French. They introduced Bourbon and Typica varieties (some of these heirlooms can still be found in a handful of villages). The departure of the French, and the subsequent Vietnam war, completely decimated the industry and it has slowly recovered over the past couple of decades.
Today the Plateau is home to a growing industry, including some smaller specialty focused operations, as the conditions for producing arabica here are perfect. A cooler stable climate with high rainfall, fertile volcanic soil and lots of natural forest cover are some of the conditions in favour of arabica production here. The coffee varieties that are mainly grown today are various Catimor types, Catuai, Java, Robusta, along with some older heirloom Typica.
Demand for Lao coffee is now at an all time high. Most of the coffee farms on the plateau are small, family-managed coffee gardens and are often shade grown and organic. The people of Nong kali have been farming organic coffee for more than 60 years and are well known for their healthy Java trees.
It's a slow pace of life here and a scenically beautiful one at that. Nong Kali has become known for honey processed lots, which they execute with consistency and pride. They have been farming coffee here for more than 60 years!
Old Quarter Size Guide
Not sure how much coffee to purchase? The information below is a guide to how much coffee you will need to last you two weeks, based on the number of cups you, or your household, drink each day.
- 250g Bag: 1-2 cups per day
- 500g Bag: 2-3 cups per day
- 1kg Bag: 4-5 cups per day
Remember that espresso style extractions use a bit more coffee than filter...you'll need to take half a cup or so off the estimations above. E.g. you'll get about 1.5 cups per day if you order the 250g bag for a fortnight.
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