Luoka Plantation AX

Flavour: Chocolate and toffee notes, full body, mild acidity with a pleasant aftertaste.

Roast level: medium roast.

Luoka Plantation AX is very delicious for all brewing methods.

408฿2,520฿

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  • Country: Papua New Guinea
  • Region: Eastern Highlands.
  • Town: Lufa and Okapa Districts.
  • Farm: Approx. 100+ smallholder farmers.
  • Owner: Various smallholder farmers delivering to Mr. Peno Kavori.
  • Processing: Fully washed & dried on raised beds.
  • Altitude: 1,440– 2,000 metres above sea level.
  • Varietal: Typica & Arusha.

Land in Papua New Guinea is still to this day conventionally owned, with a family farm averaging just 2 hectares. Farming is conducted in a very traditional manner via tried and tested means, often with the use of just organic imputes, due to the expensive nature of synthetic fertilizers. Coffee is inter-cropped with other produce to increase ‘soil humus’ (decaying plant matter that increases retention of moisture and nutrients) and fertility, as well as to provide shade. Crops include; plantain, bananas, yams, sweet potato, cabbage and other traditional foods. Although a large variety of other produce is grown, coffee cultivation is often the primary means of income; with other produce grown and livestock reared for personal consumption. This makes coffee an important cash crop, as most farmers in the Lufa and Okapa Districts will grow coffee for income. 

Trucks travel the local villages of Lufa and Okapa daily, purchasing and collecting coffee from smallholder producers. All coffee is purchased as parchment from growers within the Districts, with distances from farm to Mr Peno’s dry mill ranging from 200 meters to almost 100 kilometers. Although Monpi and Mr Kavori are independent of farming practices such as pruning and renovation of trees, Monpi’s sustainability team help to encourage weeding and renovation techniques. These techniques are also reiterated by Mr Kavori and his team, whose price promise continues to incentivise better production methods. These encouragements normally take form between September and November, every year after the main season harvest. This often results in maintenance or structural pruning, as well as drastic renovations such as stumping. 

For harvesting, the coffee cherry is selectively handpicked; with producers aiming to only pick ‘full maroon cherries’. Once picked, the cherries are assessed, hand sorting and removing any under/over ripe or defective beans from the quality stock. Next, the coffee cherry is washed and floated in buckets using cool clean water from natural sources to remove any dirt or further defective cherry. Once the water is drained, the coffee cherry will be hand pulped, usually within the first 24 hours of picking. For these smallholder producers, each will have their own hand pulper located on the farm. Next, the pulped coffee cherry is placed into vats for 24-36 hours and left to ferment. Once complete, the coffee is washed again to remove the mucilage residue, completing the fermentation process. Finally, the parchment coffee is removed and taken to the raised beds to dry. 

Once placed on the beds, Parchment coffee is first skin dried under shade or lower perforated beds for 2-3 days, with no direct sunlight. Here the parchment will be continuously stirred, allowing moisture outside of the bean to be dried by the breeze. The drying beds are often cared for by women of the families, who will hand sort through to remove any further defects. Once the beans reach 12% moisture, the parchment coffee is ready for collection by one of Mr Kavori’s trucks and transported to the dry mill. Once here, the parchment coffee will be graded and milled, ready for export. 

Producers in the region are fortunate to be situated only a few kilometers from the Crater mountains wildlife management area. In the tri-border area, where the Eastern Highlands, Simbu and Gulf provincial borders meet, is the Crater Mountain Wildlife Management Area (www.rcfpng.org). The area encompasses 2,700 sq. kilometers, ranging from lowland tropical rainforests on the Purari River to alpine grasses on the slopes of Crater Mountain. 

As well as outcomes from conservation, positive social impacts continue to be seen across Mr Kavori’s network. Farms rehabilitation to improve crop quality has also led to improvements in the standard of living for many, resulting in many farms building new permanent or semi-permanent houses, as well as beginning to involve themselves in retail businesses.

Coffee was initially introduced to Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the late 19th century and is directly linked to the country’s colonial history. Likely, coffee was first grown in PNG by Emma Coe Forsayth: a businesswoman and plantation owner of mixed American and Samoan descent. Emma set up large cocoa and coconut plantations in the Kokopo District in the East New Britain Province (ENBP). It is probable that her vast plantation also included coffee. Today, coffee is a major industry for Papua New Guinea with the country currently exporting around 1 million bags of coffee every year; involving more than 2.5 million people (nearly half of the total population).