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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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Coffee of the Month – June

Coffee of the Month – June

Papua New Guinea Coffee and Sumatra Coffee is the perfect blend of two great coffees. The Papua New Guinea coffee brings subtle chocolate tones while the Sumatra coffee provides distinct dried fruit tones and ties the two together with a nutty base. This coffee is always a favorite of our customers each time we bring it out as coffee of the month. Papua New Guinea and Sumatra are both Indonesian countries that grow coffee as their main cash crop.

Sumatra is the largest island located entirely in Indonesia. The largest city in Sumatra is Medan with a population just under 3.5 million people. As a whole, Sumatra is not very densely populated with about 96 people per square kilometer. It is, however, the 5th most populate island in the world. The coffee Camano Island Coffee Roasters offers comes from the Gayo Mountains. For more information you can visit Wikipedia.

Papua New Guinea is part of the Australasia ecozone which includes Australia, New Zealand, eastern Indonesia, and several Pacific Island groups. Many of the surrounding islands contain entirely different species of birds and animals leading experts to believe the islands were never linked. Unfortunately, only 3% of Papua New Guinea is privately held. The rest is held under a 99 year State Lease or held by the state.

For more information you can visit Wikipedia. We have also featured Papua New Guinea back in April of 2009 and you can read some different information there.

This is a great coffee to wake up to as well as enjoy after dinner with dessert.


Dan – CICR