Cupping Notes : Bittersweet Chocolate, Caramel, Dried Cherry, Green Tea
Papua New Guinea’s mountainous terrain with amazingly fertile volcanic soil is excellent for growing rich, vibrant Arabica coffee but not very good for transporting it. As a result, many remote villages and smallholder coffee farms that make up 85% of PNG’s coffee production are only reachable by foot or light aircraft, which is why air travel is crucial to get things moving.
Simbai Balus Kopi (Simbai Airplane Coffee) comes from the Simbai region, just over the Bismarck Range that borders the Western Highlands Province and Sepik Province. Our sister company at origin, Volcafe PNG, works with over 4,000 farmers in this isolated region across four airstrips to get them the support they need.
All PNG green coffee from Simbai is transported via plane. For Simbai farmers to access the supply chain, they must bring their coffee to an airstrip. It’s not easy – some farmers have a day’s journey from their farm to the airfields. Once the coffee arrives, it’s weighed in parchment, recorded, and stored in Volcafe PNG’s warehouses.
Volcafe PNG lines up charter flights whenever there’s enough coffee for a planeload. They also organize the freight and staff support for the outbound journey from the airstrip to help cover part of the charter cost (usually around USD 2,000). The coffee from Simbai is then transported to Mt. Hagen, where it joins our global supply chain.
Many PNG smallholders process their cherry at home with hand-powered pulpers, fermenting the beans for around 36 hours before washing off the mucilage and setting them out to dry.
Specialty PNG coffee is well-balanced with mellow flavors, moderate acidity, and a full-bodied, buttery quality. The rich terroir of Simbai lends itself to wonderful sweetness, filled with bittersweet chocolate and caramel notes complemented by dried cherry and green tea flavors.
April - July