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What Are the Coffee Regions of the South Pacific?

The coffee regions of the South Pacific include Indonesia and the Pacific Islands; Sumatra; Sulawesi or Celebes; Java, and New Guinea. Each of these regions has unique coffee attributes for flavor, aroma, after-taste and fragrance.

Indonesia and the Pacific Islands: Indonesia is the world’s third largest producer of coffee. Only 15% of the crop is Arabica beans; however, they are some of the best in the world. Indonesian beans are prized for their richness, full body, earthiness and gentle acidity. A limited number of quality beans are available for the gourmet, specialty coffee industry.

Sumatra: Sumatra is the largest of all the Indonesian islands. There are over 13,700 islands comprising the Republic of Indonesia, some with famous and well known coffees. Sumatran coffees are considered some of the heaviest, smoothest and most complex coffees in the world. Sumatran coffees have spicy, herbal notes and earthy aromas sought after by coffee lovers. The finest of the traditional Arabica coffees from Sumatra are marketed as Sumatra Mandheling and Lintong. Mandheling and Lintong are in the Aceh province on the volcanic mountains near Lake Tawar. The average growing altitudes are between 2,500 and 5,000 feet which is ideal for coffee cultivation. This region has shaded coffee farms and the processing method is “semi-washed.” This method depulps the coffee cherry from the coffee seed before they are dry. This cleans the coffee seed from the fruit pulp that naturally surrounds it. Mandheling is known for its herbal aroma, full body, low acidity, rich and smooth flavor.

Sulawesi or Celebes: Sulawesi was formerly known as Celebes. Coffee from this area uses the dry method and possesses a unique combination of sweetness and earthiness. The highest grade Sulawesi coffee comes from the mountainous area near the center of the island in the Toroja region. Sulawesi coffee is low in acidity with a deep body resembling the taste and fragrance of maple syrup. Japan consumes most of the supply available which tends to be small due to the limited yields.

Java: At the beginning of the 18th century, Dutch explorers brought the first Coffee Arabica trees to Java where they were planted and grown successfully. The island of Java became the world’s leading producer of coffee until a rust disease wiped out the entire industry. Farmers replanted the trees but the crops were devastated by military occupation during World War II. Talk about bad luck! Once again, the acreage was replanted with disease-resistant Robusta stock which is predominant although Arabica has made a comeback. Java Estate coffee is a wet processed coffee that is more acidic, lighter in body, and quicker to finish than other coffees in the region. There are traces of spices in this coffee such as nut, vanilla and spice. Old Java is Java Estate coffee that is stored in warehouses for two to three years. This aging process in storage causes the coffee to lose acidity and gain body and sweetness.

New Guinea: Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea. This is the coffee growing region of New Guinea and the coffee is usually labeled Papua New Guinea coffee or PNG. What is very interesting is that the seedlings planted in Papua New Guinea in the late 1930’s that started the island’s coffee cultivation came from the Jamaica Blue Mountain region in Jamaica. Papua New Guinea has ideal weather and soil conditions for growing coffee beans. However, the plantations are very secluded at very high elevations. Very often, these coffee farms are accessible only by foot. Papua New Guinea coffee is grown organically and processed completely by hand. One great benefit for coffee lovers is that the slower processing time makes for a better quality of coffee. Coffee from Papua New Guinea offers a full, syrupy body, balanced snappy acidity and wonderful complexities. Papua New Guinea coffee is reminiscent of Jamaica Blue Mountain flavor and taste.

So, are your ready for a delicious cup of Papua New Guinea AA Estate freshly roasted to order just for you? This is a true gourmet specialty coffee with a pleasingly full body, crisp acidity, a clean taste that finishes sweet, and a luxurious aroma with hints of tropical fruit such as mangoes and papayas!