On Friday, September 2nd at 1pm we will be hosting a cupping of samples from the YUS Conservation Area in Papua New Guinea. The YUS Conservation Area is located in the Huon Peninsula and these particular samples were brought back from the villages of Sapmanga, Mungku, Saburong, Gomdan, and Towet. We will have the unique opportunity to evaluate and discuss the differences between these villagers coffees, and enjoy a little sneak peak of what the coffee may taste like when it arrives. We are in the process of working out the final details of its shipment and are very excited to share stories about this coffee with you. If you would like to attend please email firstname.lastname@example.org as space is limited. Hope to see you there !
Un Regalo de Dios (“A Gift from God”) is the celebrated farm of Luis Alberto Balladarez Moncada and is located in the Mozonte region east of Ocotal, Nicaragua. This region has the potential to produce some remarkable coffees, but remains mostly undeveloped due to a lack of good infrastructure. In the two years that Luis Alberto has owned this farm, he has made many innovative improvements to the processing techniques which have contributed greatly to the quality and sweetness of his coffee.
Cherries are picked at peak ripeness and then allowed to rest for a few hours prior to being mechanically sorted by density rather than the traditional flotation — conserving large amounts of water and reducing waste. After pulping, a dry fermentation is utilized to speed up the process, as the spring water on his property is so cold it could delay the fermentation for days. Finally, he allows the slightest bit of mucilage to remain on the parchment prior to drying with the belief it increases sweetness.
This particular lot, Plantio el Aserradero, is grown at 1675 meters and is comprised of caturra and catuai. Round and balanced, with aromas of vanilla, apricot, and tangerine, this coffee features ripe stone fruit acidity, almond butter body, and a cocoa and sugar cane finish. Find these coffee beans in our cafes and online.
|photo courtesy of Ryan Hawk, Woodland Park Zoo
We have received an encouraging report from our partner in Morobe Province that the first load of YUS conservation coffee has been safely flown from the Sapmanga airstrip to Nadzab and is now being awaiting its sister shipment at a facility in Goroka. The remaining coffee is being stored at Yawan, but due to unfavorable weather it has yet to be picked up. Sapmanga and Yawan are the two villages in the Uruwa that posess airstrips – making them the vital hubs of transport for this coffee. As I witnessed first hand, the flights out of these grass, muddy airstrips can be highly irregular due to the weather and whims of the aviation company. Our hope is for the remaining coffee to be picked up from Yawan and delivered to Goroka, where it will be milled and bagged for a scheduled September shipment across the Pacific to Seattle.
For those of you not familiar with the project, Caffe Vita has joined the Woodland Park Zoo to work towards strengthening the longevity and success of the first ever conservation area to be established in Papua New Guinea, the YUS Conservation Area. Named after the three main rivers that flow through the area, the Yopno, Uruwa, and Som carve majestic valleys through this rugged terrain- one of the most biologically diverse in the world. The conservation area was only made possible by the cooperation of over 35 villages in the region and the landowners who have agreed to set aside their valuable resources for future generations. In addition, we are donating $1 to the Woodland Park Zoo for every bag of Zoo Special Reserve coffee beans we sell at our cafes or online.
The people of YUS are primarily subsistence farmers, cultivating an array of sweet potatoes, taro, cassava, greens, and fruits. In addition, a few cash crops such as tobacco, betel nut, and coffee are grown, but finding a potential buyer can be a challenge. YUS is remote, no roads lead to this region, so all goods heading towards the market must be flown (or walked). The cost and availability of airfrieght can make selling these crops close to impossible, yet currency is necessary for education and healthcare. For the improvement of these communities and the preservation of their land, we aim to provide a consistent market for their remarkable coffee.
Our goal is to establish the structure necessary for the transport of this coffee out of YUS and onwards to Seattle, where we hope the roasted coffee will find a following — the success of this project depends on it. For a sneak peak of the flavor profile you can expect when the coffee lands, we will be hosting a cupping of the coffees from each of the villages we visited. Details to be posted on this blog soon. In the meantime, you can enjoy this slideshow from our recent trip.