Papua New Guinea is responsible for approximately 1% of world coffee production. “Quality of coffee produced in Papua New Guinea has received a boost in recent times with emphasis on setting up wet factories supported by adequate checks and assurances of excellence through a testing process in well equipped laboratories,” according to Wikipedia and evidenced here.
This is an elegant and multifaceted bean that offers bright and sweet notes of lemon, orange and hazelnuts in aroma and cup. It has a light and creamy texture that can be enjoyed hot or iced.
If you thought PNG was a unique coffee origin, then you’re in for a doozy with this AAK lot. AAK is the umbrella organization tying together 3 coops across the Western and Eastern Highlands – Apo, Anga and Konga Cooperatives, each of the 3 words meaning “brother” in local languages.
In a country whose coffee growers are famously independent and who have not traditionally formed many cooperatives or producer organizations, AAK is a newly formed body introducing radical practices to improve coffee quality and livelihoods.
Coffee is its main economic activity, but AAK is much more. Its self-described holistic approach includes activities ranging from financial planning, to banking (mobile payment partnership with BSP Bank), to gender equality, to health, to education. On the coffee front (that’s why you’re reading this, right?), AAK takes a very localized approach to organization and coffee quality. 81 “base camps” across member areas form as community centers.
Each base camp servers as a training center for quality growing and processing practices, and 59 (and growing) are outfitted with tool sheds where members can rent supplies for use on their farms. While rich in expertise and ideas, AAK has only recently been able to open its own washing stations. It currently manages 3 stations, each quite small but well staffed with knowledgeable machinists and coffee handlers. Each station serves a handful of nearby base camps (currently base camps not near a washing station home-process and deliver parchment).
FARM: AAK Brothers Umbrella Cooperative
ALTITUDE: 1550 – 2100 M
FARMER: Apo, Anga and Konga Cooperatives
NOTE: Wet Process
Now available at www.emerycoffee.com
Photos courtesy of Klatch Coffee.