Papua New Guinea
Interesting acidity and high variety are defining qualities of Papua New Guinea coffees. The island is known for the mountainous topography and the incredible cultural diversity of thousands of indigenous groups. Due to a decentralize infrastructure, many New Guinea plantations are actually collections of traditional “coffee gardens”. These are small plots of as little as 20 plants grown alongside subsistence crops. With increased introduction of modern processing methods, these already incredible coffees continue to grow in quality and consistency.
Mile High is the A grade offering from the Arokara Co-op. It is grown in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea on the outskirts of the town of Kainantu at an altitude of 1 mile above sea level. Arokara is a co-operative of plantations (Largest being Tairora and Gadsup) in the surrounding valley. Mountains surround the plantations; two of the closest ones are Yonki Dome(7500 feet) and Elendora(9200 feet). With over 20 years experience in coffee growing and processing in PNG, Arokara has always delivered a quality bean. The Rural Development Bank funded these plantations.
In the last 10-15 years, the landowner clans have regained ownership and management of the plantations. They no longer use any chemicals or fertilizers in the production process.
The whole clan hand pick the cherry and then pulped on the same day and fermented in cement vats for 36 hours. After the fermentation process the coffee is washed with fresh mountain stream water from the nearby Aru River. The coffee is then sun dried to give it a nice even bluish color, which can take 7-12 days.
The labor in the processing operation is also from the surrounding villages and ranges through the year from 20 up to 60 people in the peak season (this does not include the clan cherry pickers). The total community in the area who rely on the coffee exports is around 10000 to 12000 people.
This coffee has a bright acidity, and a delicate body with, caramel, malt and light citrus notes.