Indonesia New Guinea, or Indonesia Papua, is a unique and intriguing coffee-growing region located in the easternmost part of Indonesia. With altitudes reaching over 1,600 meters above sea level, this area boasts fertile volcanic soils that create the perfect environment for cultivating coffee plants. One interesting fact about this region is that it is split between two countries, with the western half belonging to Indonesia and the eastern half to Papua New Guinea.
Coffee has been grown in Indonesia New Guinea since the early 20th century when Dutch colonizers introduced the crop to the region. The territory was initially under Dutch control, but after World War II, it was transferred to Indonesian administration. Over the years, coffee production in the region has steadily increased, and today, it is one of the main contributors to Indonesia's thriving coffee industry.
While specific information about the farming and processing methods in Indonesia New Guinea is limited, we can infer that the techniques used in this region are similar to those employed in other parts of Indonesia. Most coffee in the country is grown by smallholder farmers who typically have less than one hectare of land.
In general, Indonesian coffee is processed using either the wet-hulled or dry method. The wet-hulled method, also known as "Giling Basah" in the local language, involves removing the outer skin of the coffee cherry and allowing the beans to ferment in water for a short period. The beans are then partially dried before the parchment layer is removed, and the beans are left to dry completely.
The dry method, on the other hand, involves leaving the coffee cherries to dry in the sun for several weeks before the outer skin and parchment are removed. This method tends to produce a more rustic and earthy flavor profile in the final coffee product.
Coffees from the Indonesia New Guinea region are known for their distinct and diverse flavor profiles. They often exhibit a rich, full-bodied texture with a low to medium acidity level. Depending on the processing method used, the flavors can range from earthy and herbal to fruity and sweet. Some common tasting notes include dark chocolate, black pepper, molasses, and tropical fruits such as papaya and guava.
These unique flavors are what make Indonesian New Guinea coffee stand out among other Indonesian coffees and have led to its growing popularity among specialty coffee enthusiasts.
While there may not be specific well-known farms or farmers within the Indonesia New Guinea region, the region itself has garnered a reputation for producing high-quality coffee beans. This is largely due to the ideal growing conditions found in the area, such as the rich volcanic soils and high altitudes, which contribute to the unique flavor profiles found in the coffee produced there.
Overall, Indonesia New Guinea is a fascinating coffee-growing region with a rich history and distinct flavors that set it apart from other Indonesian coffees. Specialty coffee enthusiasts and professionals alike can appreciate the unique characteristics and taste experiences that this region has to offer.