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ABOUT THE COFFEE:
Cupping notes: "A cup of funky wildness, like the island itself," says my importer. Sweet lemon, thyme, caramel, and sweet corn with tart, crisp acidity.
Cultivation: grown by smallholder farmers in the western highlands of PNG
Altitude: 4,600-6,000 feet
Tree type: Arusha, Blue Mountain, San Ramon
Preparation: Fully washed and dried at central dry mill
ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO GROW IT: I am excited to offer one of the most extraordinary lots of Papua New Guinea I've had. It comes from small farms in the Waghi Valley of the Western Highlands, between 4,600-6,000 feet above sea level. Kunjin is a centralized mill that purchases coffee cherry from smallholder farmers in the highlands. With central milling and drying, my importer's partners on the ground can control quality at the processing level. Every day, lots are cupped and separated to build containers and lots which are microlot worthy.
Papua New Guinea is an extremely diverse country, with over 800 different languages spoken. Most of the tribes from the highlands didn't have contact with the western world until the 1930s, since early exploration in PNG had been minimal until then. PNG is now a paradox, caught between Western influence and indigenous traditions.
Commercial coffee production started in Papua New Guinea in the 1920s, with seeds brought from Jamaica's Blue Mountain, a Typica variety. At that time, most coffee production came from a few large plantations. Plantations still exist in PNG, but that type of farming only accounts for 15% of the total production. Most of the coffee now comes from smallholders who tend to their "coffee gardens," as they call them locally. They are subsistence farmers (meaning they live off their land), and they also grow coffee. There are no exclusive coffee farmers, per se. Each garden might have anywhere from a couple to a couple hundred trees of coffee, and a delivery for processing can range from 25–65 kg.
PNG is another one of those countries which has great potential, but it's still far away from hitting its peak. It has heirloom varieties and great altitude, but its social and economic problems makes it extremely hard to achieve top-quality coffee. My importer is working patiently with the farmers and mills, however, and is pleased with the quality they are seeing this year. Cleanliness in the cup is one of the biggest attributes for this year's harvest. They continue pushing for even better quality.
Papua New Guinea coffees are a cup of funky wildness, like the island itself. These coffees have a bright and delicate acidity of a malic acid, an apple wineyness that sets them apart from the other Southeast Asian Archipelago coffees of the earthier Sumatran and Sulawesian variety. You could compare PNGs to brighter Javas, but there are distinct differences between the two cups. PNGs tend to come off as more delicate, refined, and lighter body than washed Javas. Papua New Guinea is most definitely a unique origin you must try!
Printable flyers: Roasting this coffee to give or sell to others? Click here to download and print color flyers to tell this story of the coffee's origin, and help them feel good about the great coffee they are drinking.