GOROKA - PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Region: Eastern Highlands
Variety: Bourbon, Arusha
Altitude: 1600 m
Cup: Caramel, Gooseberry, Chocolate
Compared to the speed with which Europeans colonized other parts of the world, they seemed to spill over Oceania in slow motion. So, although the highlands of PNG are textbook coffee land, commercial coffee production was not established until 1928. In typical British colonial style, coffee was initially grown on plantations (though atypically planted with Blue Mountain from Jamaica). The history of colonial New Guinea mirrors that of central Africa. Feeling left out of the general expansionist trend, Germany grabbed a portion of northern New Guinea in the late 1800’s and then lost it during WWI. The Japanese invaded PNG during WWII and the island saw fierce fighting for much of the war. For most of the 20th century, administrative responsibility for PNG and its ever evolving configuration (and name) rested with Australia.
Papua New Guinea has amazing terroir, giving it unlimited potential as a coffee country. Coffee production began in the 1920s, and most PNG coffee is now produced by thousands of native small-holders growing crops for food, and coffee to provide vital cash.
The arusha varietal is a botanical variety coming from Tanzania. It travelled from Africa to Oceania with the French missionaries in the 19th century. We only know few things about this type of typica, which makes the discovery of this coffee a tasty mystery!