About This Coffee
This A grade coffee was processed at the Bebes washing station in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Sero Bebes is the owner of the washing station which he has been running since around 2010. Sero owns a 34 hectare plantation that was planted in 1968.
Papua New Guinea
In the contemporary global coffee industry, Papua New Guinea is wholly unique both in how coffee is harvested and exported from the country. While there are some estates and plantations, most coffee production comes from smallholder farmers, each with around 1–2 hectares of land called “gardens” on which they grow small amounts of coffee along with whatever else a family or community might need for use or sale.
Sourcing coffee in Papua New Guinea poses unique logistical, cultural, and linguistic challenges. The country’s many indigenous populations are often very distinct from one another in terms of custom and language, and individual communities might comprise only a few hundred people, making communication and the cultural sensitivity required to do business here more difficult than in other coffee-growing regions. Less than 10 percent of the population is connected to or uses the Internet for communications, and there are roughly 55 telephones (both fixed-line and cellular) for every 100 people.
Growing Coffee in Papua New Guinea
Although PNG has often produced more than 1 million bags of coffee annually, the average has dropped below 1 million over the last 10 years. The vast majority of coffee in PNG (95%) is grown in the highland regions near the center of the country. These coffee exhibit the heavy body characteristic of this part of the world along with the savory sweet flavors.
History of Coffee in Papua New Guinea
Compared to the speed with which Europeans colonized other parts of the world, they seemed to spill over Oceania in slow motion. So, although the highlands of PNG are textbook coffee land, commercial coffee production was not established until 1928. In typical British colonial style, coffee was initially grown on plantations (though atypically planted with Blue Mountain from Jamaica). The history of colonial New Guinea mirrors that of central Africa. Feeling left out of the general expansionist trend, Germany grabbed a portion of northern New Guinea in the late 1800’s and then lost it during WWI. The Japanese invaded PNG during WWII and the island saw fierce fighting for much of the war. For most of the 20th century, administrative responsibility for PNG and its ever evolving configuration (and name) rested with Australia.
Country: Papua New Guinea
Region: Eastern Highlands
Farm: Bebes Washing Station
Elevation: 1650 MASL
Variety: Arusha, Bourbon, Mundo Novo, Typica
Tasting notes: Sweet and darkly fruited with toffee, date, blackberry, and fig jam.