March’s Coffee of the Month is Papua New Guinea Elimbari. Delicious notes of cherry and sweet molasses are prominent over a base of milk chocolate. We recommend serving this with glazed cinnamon rolls for a little added sweetness.
Elimbari grows in the centre of Papua New Guinea, close to the Eastern Highlands in the district of Chuave. The Bismarck Mountain Range is home to the coffee growing slopes that produce Elimbari.
The production of coffee in Chuave is different from most areas around the world. The majority of the coffee plants are found in smallholder ‘gardens’; small plots of land around their premises. These smallholdings process the coffee in a central mill. It is then bought and shipped by Kongo coffee, a local supplier and roastery.
Kongo Coffee closely inspect the coffee from each producer at their factory. They ensure that Elimbari is speciality standard and has very few to no defects. Premiums are paid to farmers who produce the best crops and training is available to all farmers to improve the quality of all coffee in the region.
Every customer who purchases Papua New Guinea Elimbari is automatically entered into a prize draw to win a free three month subscription of 250g of a coffee of their choice.
About Papua New Guinea Elimbari
Papua New Guinea has a wonderful climate for coffee production. The high altitudes in Chuave allow for a longer development in the cherry and result in more complex flavours in the cup. The soil is volcanic and highly fertile around Chuave which also contributes to the complexity of the Elimbari cup. It rates as one of the best coffees coming out of Papua New Guinea and is distinctive in its flavour and body. This lot was recently cupped at 83, which is rare for coffees from Papua New Guinea.
Elimbari is also a very rare variety of coffee. Arusha, thought to be from Typica lineage, only grows in Papua New Guinea and Tanzania, making the coffees from each country similar in flavour. The origin of the Arusha varietal is unclear but most coffee was introduced to Papua New Guinea in the 1950s and the production grew slowly from there.
In 2000, Kongo coffee was set up to provide the Chuave district with support and unity in coffee production and processing. Today, Project Elimbari provides opportunities for improvement and reward for farmers in seemingly impossible situations by paying a good wage and offering support to the local community.
Flavours: Cherry, Molasses, Malt Biscuit, Milk Chocolate
Aroma: Sharp Cherry, Sweet Milk Chocolate
Body: Full bodied, Syrupy
Acidity: Muted, Spicy
Medium-Dark: This profile gives a full bodied cup with a long lasting, syrupy mouth feel. Flavours of cherry and molasses are pronounced throughout and the finish is sweet with milk chocolate. Perfect as a filter, this is a great coffee to explore the complexities of a Papa New Guinea coffee.
Dark: A dark roast allows the coffees sugars to develop and caramelise further, creating spicy notes and a deep malt biscuit flavour. The cup is smooth and has a more developed body. Hints of molasses and dark cherry make an excellent espresso. Pair with milk for flavours reminiscent of Black Forest Gateau.
Origin: Chuave District, Chimbu, Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea
Farm: Various Garden Smallholdings
Altitude: 1600-1800 m.a.s.l
Variety: Typica, Arusha, Bourbon
Processed Method: Dry fermented, washed and dried on sails
About the Region
Papua New Guinea is perhaps the least explored island on the planet. It is thought to have over 800 spoken languages and several undiscovered tribes still living in the tropical rain-forest, removed from modern life. It is known as a megadiverse country, having over 5000 endemic plant species and a large marine ecosystem. Much of the wildlife is unique to the region, although similarities can be drawn to the wildlife in Australia as the two were joined together until relatively recently, 10,000 years ago.