Nothing beats consistency! Especially when it comes to coffee. This is how we at Stockton Graham & Co. feel about Papua New Guinea Mile High Coffee. Making its mark in Pacific coffees, a noteworthy attribute of this particular coffee is that it is unusually consistent with the crops previously brought in. This is so exciting because consistency is a key reason customers return – they know what they are getting.
This is great for the independent coffee shop owner too because your customers will fall in love with the PNG and keep coming back for it. In fact, when surveyed, 86 percent of respondents in the Charlotte, NC area said “consistent service or quality” was most important in a recent survey we conducted with Mintel.
Originating in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, Mile High is the grade A coffee from the Arokara Co-op. Mile High gets its name because it is grown on the outskirts of the mountain town Kainantu, exactly one mile above sea level. Surrounded by mountains reaching staggering altitudes, the Arokara Co-op is made of plantations such as Gadsup and Tairorasta. Arokara has been processing and growing coffee for over 20 years. No chemicals or fertilizers are used by the landowner clans who now own and run Arokara.
The entire clan hand picks and pulps the Mile High cherries on the same day. Then, the fresh cherries are fermented for approximately 36 hours in cement vats. Next, they are cleaned in crisp, clear mountain water from the nearby Aru River. Lastly, they are left to dry in the sun for 7-12 days, slowly taking on a lovely bluish color. Mile High is carefully wet-processed to produce a consistently high-quality bean.
Gentle Flavors with an Undeniable Quality from a Versatile Bean
I sat down with our Head Roaster Brad Kirby and resident Barista Alex Jeans to explore this exceptional coffee and hear what they had to say about our Papua New Guinea (or PNG) Mile High.
They all commented on the slight, yet fruity malt softness of the bean that makes Mile High particularly drinkable. Its enjoyable aftertaste lingers on the tongue to be relished.
“As espresso, this coffee’s attributes are amplified in all the right ways,” said Kirby. “If a customer is looking for something different but instantly loveable, PNG Mile High is the way to go. Thanks to its creamy body and fruity sweet notes, this particular coffee does extremely well in small and medium sized milk-based drinks.”
To really get at the coffee’s unique flavors, our SCAA-certified barista Alex Jeans suggests brewing Mile High using the V60 pour over method, which really highlights its silky smooth body.
“The V60 method really highlights the coffee’s subtle acidity and fruit flavors along with a milk chocolate aftertaste,” Jeans said. “If you want to feature the coffee’s tangy, bright plum notes, then preparing it as an espresso is the way to go.”
When brewing PNG, it’s important to use the right coffee to water ratio—roughly 1:16 or 1 gram of coffee per 16 milliliters/grams of water or in other words 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 6 ounces of water—and the appropriate grind for your brew method. For more information see our Brewing and Grinding Guide. Here you will find specific measurements and grinds for your particular brew method.
Coffee Growth in Papua New Guinea
Occupying the eastern half of the island New Guinea in the Pacific region of Melanesia, Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. There are 848 languages spoken there and thousands of independent indigenous communities. This said, Papua New Guinea is still one of the world’s least explored countries.
Nearly 40 percent of the population lives a self-sustainable natural lifestyle, and the entire nation relies heavily on customary subsistence-based agriculture. In the mid-1920’s when Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee seeds were planted, Coffee production in the country started. This made PNG a closely connected descendent of one of the most luxurious and sought after coffees in the world.
The first coffee plantations were established in the moist Sangara foothills in 1926. During the 1980’s coffee production expanded away from the plantations and more into the hands of local farmers who are now responsible for over 85 percent of total national production. After palm oil, coffee is the country’s second largest agricultural export. Additionally, coffee is responsible for employing over 2.5 million people. Most of their coffee is grown in the highlands, where 70 percent of the population relies on subsistence agriculture.
Papua New Guinea coffees come from the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, which sits contentedly north of the Australian landmass. Not unlike neighboring Indonesian coffees, New Guineas tend to come either from estates with large-scale facilities or much smaller farmers using simple backyard processing methods; Both methods yield inspiring results. Because the mountainous topography of the island lends itself to endless coffee varieties, Papua New Guinea is home to some of the highest quality beans in the world.
After a turbulent history of constantly fluctuating global markets and evolving infrastructures, the Papua New Guinea coffee industry has faced countless challenges. But thanks to an increased introduction of modern processing methods, combined with an intimate understanding of the crop, PNG has continued to grow as one of the most desirable coffees on the market. Papua New Guinea is actually responsible for 1 percent of total world coffee production, and here at Stockton Graham & Co., we are thankful for that.
To order our PNG Mile High, contact a Customer Care Associate at 800 835 5943.