Flavour Creation through Fermentation


Project Raggiana launched Zest's drive into exploring new directions in flavour. Creating flavour, building relationships and sharing the story of coffee and coffee people.

Project Raggiana began in the Wahgi Valley and the Sigri Estate in Papua New Guinea.

The project was our ticket to discovering PNG coffee and people, exploring the flavour implications of low-oxygen fermentation and capturing a story we could share with the folks back home.

Processing at the Sigri Estate


Through controlled and innovative processing methods we were able to create a selection of micro-lots from the one lot. Each method adopted was thoroughly researched back home, and executed on site in the Wahgi Valley. The process was designed to affect the flavour – creating a unique story for every cup brewed in Zest Cafes.


Zest headed to PNG endeavouring to develop a sustainable working relationship with the people of Sigri Estate. In future, we will be nurturing this relationship with further projects that will improve the quality and flavour of the beans they produce. 


The story of origin and its coffee people is both beautiful and compelling. Our aim was to capture and present that story within a format that both resonates and engages our audience.


Follow the Insta-Story. @zest_coffee

Throughout the duration of the project we documented the story of Zest's Project Raggiana via our social channels.

Narrated by our roast profiler and project coordinator, Rob McDonald - who drove the project/experiment after being repeatedly enchanted by PNG coffee.

Take a look back at where our journey took us, learn why, how, and where out fermentation experiments took place in wild and wonderful PNG.


What is Project Raggiana?

Part of Project Raggiana was to make a film to capture the region, the energy of the project and help tell the story. We had the talented @andrew.northover and @tvfhstudio on the job. Many parts film were shot with the Inspire 3D drone - an impressive machine. 
Having never seen or heard a drone before, the locals (and us, tbh) were quite thrown by it. The first flight saw dozens of mill workers, hand sorters and coffee drying staff run out into the open to watch the *semi-identified flying object* zipping through the sky. It wasn’t until a week, and many flights later, did the novelty wear off. But it's still quite a buzz (pardon the pun) to watch these things do their work. 


Robert. A curious 9 year old.


This is Robert from Sigri. He’s 9 years old and lives in a hut made out of woven ferns deep within the jungle on the edge of the Wahgi River in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea.


Although we were unable to directly speak to each other, it amazes me how much can be said through simple gestures and basic hand actions.

He became my little camera assistant for the day, although was absolutely terrified of the menacing appearance of the drone flying overhead. After a few minutes I was able to show him the screen, what his house and world looked like from the sky, leaving him with an ear to ear smile that wouldn’t leave his face. Several hours later, an entourage of his friends arrived, and he was in his element. He was explaining to them in pigdgin what was inside the big black box, how it has propellers and flies through the sky with its own set of eyes and a face, and how it watches down from above. He described all of this was via actions and hand movements to a crowd of inspired faces.

Up until now, most of these kids had never even seen a picture of themselves until observing their portraits on the back of my camera. This was one of those moments that I know will stay with me forever.

Written by Andrew Northover of TVFH


The woman at Sigri are the spirit of PNG culture.

The women at Sigri are full of joy and always asking to have their picture taken. They are completely uninhibited, they smile and dance and play. They are the spirit of PNG culture.


6 lots were processed and were available to order in minimal quantities.

Sooner rather than later, the 6 lots we processed will be available for order. Keep in mind these are only experiments, so quantities are very low and we will run out of them really quickly.


Stay tuned for these micro-lots being available. We're expecting them to arrive at Zest around the middle of July.



A Huge Thanks.

The project was made possible through a collaboration with Carpenters Products and the Sigri Estate with some special thanks needed for Sajith Shankar, the Sigri Estate manager, who made sure we felt welcomed in his home and provided us with generous hospitality.

Sajith was also responsible for showing our team the ins and outs of the Sigri Estate,explaining the historical context of PNG coffee production and he cooked us a really delicious Keralan curry.