PNG coffees are revered for their interesting acidity and variety. Notable for the mountainous topography of the island and the incredible cultural diversity of thousands of indigenous groups, historical changes in infrastructure have reduced the number of centralized coffee plantations typical of most coffee regions. Today, many PNG plantations are actually collections of traditional “coffee gardens,” small plots of as few as 20 plants grown alongside subsistence crops. With new processing methods being introduced, 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—or about 1,600 meters.
Arokara is a co-operative of plantations throughout the valley, the largest of which are Tairora and Gadsup. The plantations are surrounded by mountains, two of the closest are Yonki Dome (7,500 feet) and Elendora (9,200 feet). With more than 20 years' experience in coffee growing and processing in PNG, Arokara has always delivered quality coffee.
These plantations were originally set up by the Rural Development Bank, using modern farming methods. In the last 10 to 15 years, the plantations have been returned to the ownership and management of the traditional landowner clans, who do not use any chemicals or fertilizers in the production process.
The cherry is hand picked by the whole clan 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 between 7 and 12 days, during which time it achieves its nice, even blue-green color.
The processing work is done by members of the surrounding villages, and the workforce varies from 20 people during the year to 60 people in the peak season (this does not include the cherry pickers). The total local community relying on income from coffee exports is between 10,000 and 12,000 people.
Bright acidity, delicate body, caramel, malt and light citrus notes. (6/20/18)