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Where does your coffee come from? – Papua New Guinea

Where Does Your Coffee Come From? – Papua New Guinea

Ever wonder where your coffee comes from? At Camano Island Coffee Roasters, we love our Papua New Guinea Light and Medium roasts, and we also love the beautiful island nation just north of Australia.

Papua New Guinea coffee plantations were first planted 120 years ago. Historical records attribute the arrival of coffee to New Guinea as a result of German settlers bringing the crop to the island. By 1899, Arabica coffee bushes were showing that they liked the unique climate of New Guinea. However, the industry did not start picking up momentum until the 1920’s, when improvements in shipping contributed to coffee more easily being exported. Now Papua New Guinea has coffee plantations in 15 out of 19 provinces, and coffee export is one of the nation’s strongest industries.

Arabica and Robusta Coffee

At least 95% of the coffee grown in New Guinea is of the Arabica variety. Grown at high elevations, this coffee is of very high quality. The small amount of Robusta produced in New Guinea is grown in the Sepik lowlands and around Milne Bay. Most of the coffee exported is in the form of unroasted, green beans. Only 1% of the coffee exported is already roasted and ground. This is because green coffee keeps better for shipment than those that have already been roasted. Once coffee is roasted it should be enjoyed soon (that’s why we get the coffee so quickly to our Coffee Club members.)

Coffee Provinces of New Guinea

New Guinea coffee growing regions are split into three distinct provinces with each being home to 2-6 coffee grower groups. The provinces are the Eastern Highlands, Western Highlands, and Simbu. With more than 210,000 hectares of coffee bushes, there are a lot of great coffees being produced in New Guinea.

Production by Province and Secondary Crops

The Western Highlands has the highest level of coffee production followed closely by the Eastern Highlands. Simbu grows more Robusta beans and has less production. While coffee beans are by far the biggest cash crop, farmers also grow sweet potatoes, bananas, vegetables, and spices for local consumption. Banana trees are often what shade coffee bushes, so they make a great choice for a secondary crop for their food value mostly because bananas do not command a high price.

Striving For Sustainable and Organic Practices

New Guinea coffee growers have observed that there is a high demand for quality shade grown coffees. Although New Guinea only produces 1% of the world’s coffee production, consumers are demanding more coffee choices. With more people than ever realizing what an impact they can have on the environment with their purchasing and consumption habits, the demand for fair trade coffee grown in a sustainable manner is growing drastically every day. Farmers are making efforts to double production due the increased demand for coffee grown in the best possible way.

Profiles in Flavor

Camano Island Coffee Roasters Medium Roast Papua New Guinea coffee is medium bodied with chocolate undertones. A sweet flavor and crisp, clean finish make this a great choice any time of the day or night. In fact, this roast is one of our customers’ favorites! For those that wish for a more subtle flavor, we offer this coffee in a light roast as well.

New Guinea Coffee for Your Home or Business

Purchasing Organic Free Trade New Guinea coffee helps farmers earn a good living for their families. If you have a business, consider adding New Guinea coffee to your waiting and staff rooms. Restaurants near business districts can lose business if they don’t have great coffee. Camano Island Coffee Roasters can arrange for a regular coffee subscription of delicious New Guinea coffee as well as our other great varieties. With our automatic shipment plans, you can be assured that you never run out of your favorites. At Camano Island Roasters, we believe in giving back to the farmers we buy our coffee from. That is why part of every Coffee Lovers Club shipment goes to help coffee farmers obtain interest-free loans and the support they need to own their land so they can make sustainable decisions without corporate influence.

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Where does Sumatran Coffee come from?

Where Does Sumatran Coffee Come From?

When Sumatra is mentioned many people have to think for a minute to realize where it is — if they know at all.  Sumatra is located in Indonesia, and is part of the Sunda Islands. In Sanskrit, Sumatra means “Island of Gold,” so it should come as no surprise to you that Sumatran farmers grow truly exceptional, world-class coffee, worth its weight in the mineral from which the island takes its name.

Perfect for Medium to Darker Roasts

Coffee growers in Sumatra use a unique method of processing their coffee known as wet hauling. This means that coffee has a higher than average moisture content when it is bagged and exported to its destination. The process of wet hulling also known as Giling Basah. Growers remove the outer layer of the coffee but leave the wet pulp. The coffee beans are allowed to rest for one day with the pulp on them, before they are washed and dried until all beans have a 30-35% moisture level. This is much higher than coffee from most other regions.

Because of this unique process, the flavor profile of Sumatran coffee is well suited to darker roasts. Those that enjoy the unique coffee of Sumatra describe it as earthy, with very low acidity. Low acid coffee is great for people who find stronger blends too harsh on their stomachs, and with its signature nutty sweetness, Sumatran coffee can be enjoyed both at breakfast, and after dinner. describes this coffee as one of the heartiest and most complex blends in the world, making it a must for every bean enthusiast.

Sumatra Regions

The coffee growing area of Sumatra is divided into two distinct regions. The District of Lintong Nihuta is known for growing its coffee on a large plateau. Sidikilang is an adjoining region that produces Arabica coffee beans as well, although not in as high a volume as Lintong.

Lintong is home to Lake Toba, a very deep natural lake located in the crater of a super volcano that last erupted about 70,000 years ago. Imagine drinking coffee farmed from 70,000-year-old volcanic ash! Gayo is located near Lake Tawar and produces some superb high elevation, shade-grown coffee, cultivated at heights of an outstanding 3300-4800 feet. Most coffee producers in Gayo are small holders, too. All Sumatran coffee is usually processed on the farm, which shows in the quality of the final product. Larger estates use mechanical means of picking coffee, whereas small holders pick by hand. Hand-picked coffee is considered of higher quality because farmers can afford better attention to detail and sorting practices.

Camano Island Coffee Roasters’ Sumatran coffee is double picked, which means it is hand sorted 3 times to find defects. That is why we are able to say that our roasts are grade 1 quality – the highest quality available.

Adding Sumatran Coffee To Your Home

Camano Island Roasters produces Sumatra coffee in a dark or medium roast. The dark roast is described as rich and complex by coffee aficionados while the medium roast has a distinctly fruity complexity.  Sumatra coffee makes a great unique gift for a fellow coffee lover who likes to try new things, or just a gourmet addition to your everyday routine.

Supporting Sustainable Agriculture

Coffee helps those living in rural areas to cultivate a crop that thrives through sustainable agricultural methods. Fair-trade Sumatran coffee creates an economy where workers receive a living wage, under their own steam. Sumatra has many small coffee farms, meaning that farmers are very involved in the production of quality coffee because they can dedicate a lot of attention to a small holding.

When you purchase Sumatran coffees from the Camano Island Coffee Roasters, you are buying one of the best coffees online while supporting sustainable agriculture in Sumatra. All of our coffees are fair trade, meaning that we purchased the beans for a price that is fair to the farmer that worked so hard to get it to you. Camano Island Roasters is always checking in on the origin of the coffees we sell to make sure that we are buying coffee that is produced sustainably and with high quality in mind.

When you try one roast style, you will want to try the others — what can we say? Drinking Sumatran coffee is like drinking liquid gold.

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Establishing Generational Change in Honduras

Establishing Generational Change in Honduras

In the rural hills of Northwestern Honduras, generational change has become a reality for the Agros villagers. The town of Bella Vista is an evolving success story, bringing prosperity to its people through transformational coffee purchasing. Although this region has experienced hardship, fathers and mothers no longer worry about their children’s future.

Bella Vista, A Community Of Hope

In 2013 alone, 31 families harvested 28,700 pounds of coffee! These villagers have transformed this rural area. In the past, Bella Vista experienced little job growth, unavailable natural resources and limited education. An area once hit by terrible droughts, killing livestock and causing water shortages, now has access to water. With the help of Agros volunteers, 12 water troughs have been placed in the area and livestock have become healthy. Parents can send their sons and daughters to grade school and college. Land ownership, once a dream for most, now is a reality in the Bella Vista community.

Luis & Hilaria Pineda’s Story

If you can imagine traveling 2 hours a day by foot, from a nearby town in hopes to earn a better life, you have imagined yourself in Luis Pineda’s shoes. For over two years he made that tiring journey, while participating in workshop activities and learning to cultivate the land. During this time, he worked as a day laborer growing grain crops in his hometown. He could only rent the property, however, with no opportunity to own. Then Agros arrived and gave him the tools to change everything.

He and his wife Hilaria moved with their two sons, Jose Luis and Nelson, to Bella Vista. He signed a bank loan through Agros and started cultivating his land. As of 2013 he owns 1.72 acres of coffee production and an additional 1.72 acres in corn production. Both commodities are in high demand and his land is prospering greatly. Luis and Hilaria also own a cow now as part of their estate. The years of hard work have begun to pay off and change their lives forever.

Through repaying his credit loan to Agros, Luis and Hilaria are on the direct path of becoming first generation landowners. Luis shares his gratitude, “I am happy because I have my house, my land to work and all the opportunities Agros offers us. Many thanks!” With a little opportunity and hard work Luis has been able to change his family’s fortunes.

Looking To The Future

Luis and Hilaria no longer worry about their children’s future. “Our dream is to pay the land, so that our kids can later inherit it. It will be their most precious treasure,” said Luis.

And it’s not just their children who are reaping the benefits of Luis and Hilaria’s hard work. During these last couple years, Luis has become a model of perseverance in the Bella Vista community. “Luis is a leader who has earned the respect of colleagues for his humility and sincerity,” said Esmel, the president of the community.

Luis and Hilaria are just one example of 31 families in Bella Vista whose lives have been changed forever, thanks to coffee lovers like you who choose to support Agros with your coffee purchase.