Today, coffee is the backbone of the rural economy in Papua New Guinea and is the major source of income for more than 40% of the population. Roughly 95% of producers are small holders, often with small coffee gardens containing a few dozen to a few hundred trees which they grow alongside other subsistence crops like bananas, papaya and legumes.
The diversity of Papua New Guinea is truly mind boggling. Villages in the fertile coffee growing regions of the highlands can number from a few dozen individuals to tens of thousands. With over 800 languages spoken, these villages were historically cut off from one another linguistically. Violent conflict among tribes was not uncommon and continues to be an ongoing issue today. This, combined with undeveloped infrastructure, outdated machinery and inconsistent processing methods means that finding those high quality lots and getting them to the outside world can be a challenge. Papua New Guinea produces only about 1% of the world’s Arabica coffee.
Cup profiles vary, by grade and region, but generally have flavors of chocolate, tropical fruit and citrus.