REGION: Chauve, Simbu
GROWING ALTITUDE: 1600m
HARVEST PERIOD: April – September
FLAVOUR: Fruity & Sweet
CUPPING NOTES: Vanila ice cream body with cherry and aromas of jasmine
Q GRADE: 84
Papua New Guinea is an independent state commanding the Eastern half of the island of New Guinea. It is one of the least explored islands on earth, with some claiming there to be entire communities of peoples completely uncontactable, with undiscovered plant and animal species present. The mystique of this nation exemplifies its exoticism as a destination. Over 850 languages are known to exist amongst a population of only 7 million. It remains a member of the commonwealth, with Queen Elizabeth II it’s official head of state.
Papua New Guinea – most commonly referred to as PNG produces a range of coffees that are small holder and estate grown. Considering PNG’s proximity to Sumatra, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the coffees would be similar, but they are quite different. More common to Congo than Sumatra, coffees demonstrate bright acidity and winey fruitiness. The wet processing mills continue to use outdated machinery from British Colonial times, and cherry selection is not considered to be the best amongst other coffee growing nations. The Blue Mountain and Arusha varietals coupled with extremely fertile soils and high altitude growing regions (up to 2000 metres above sea level) combine to create a truly unique and special coffee. Unfortunately, a lack of investment, disorganisation and poor infrastructure and PNG’s relative inaccessibility to the specialty world has meant the development of coffee production here is some way behind other South East Asian nations.
The Elimbari project, the name taken from the picturesque mountain Mt. Elimbari in the Chauve region of Simbu was started over ten years ago by Kongo Coffee’s native owner, Jerry Kapka, to help provide some of these much-needed opportunities for betterment for his family, friends and other local people.
Local producers bring their parchment coffee to Kongo Coffee where it is closely inspected on arrival for aroma and defects and moisture content.
Depending on these results, the coffee either becomes Y grade (low-grade coffee that dominates the crop in PNG) or Elimbari if it meets special quality requirements.