A coffee that is labeled as New Guinea was probably grown on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, which is known as Papua New Guinea and is located in the western part is Irian Jaya Province in Indonesia north of Australia. The western part of the island is known as West Guinea and also produces coffee beans. Vanuatu is a nearby coffee-producing island, albeit significantly smaller.
Characteristics of a Fine Papua New Guinea Coffee Beans
A good New Guinea coffee, such as Arona or Sigri, has a modest, low-toned richness, sometimes earthy, along with a low to moderate acidity that distinguishes most Indonesian coffees, though generally not as full-bodied as an Indonesian or as aromatic as a fine Sulawesi Toraja, yet sometimes fruitier than Sulawesi coffee.
Typically wet processed (washed), a fine New Guinea coffee is deeply dimensioned yet well-balanced, with mild and mellow yet broad flavors that provide a bright and clean taste – a classic, delicate sweetness complemented by an exotic, complex and fruity aroma. The region produces coffees with lots of oils, which come out as early as a medium roast and offer a full body that is consistent with many Indonesian coffees. This makes it ideal in a french press or steel-filter drip coffee maker which allows the natural oils and flavors to shine.
Coffee Growing Regions of Papua New Guinea
Coffee Processing of New Guinea Coffees
Processing of the harvested coffee cherry from these smaller patches is inconsistent, so there is a risk of off-tastes including a beef-broth taste, although a good batch can provide a delightfully complex coffee.
The most distinguished New Guinea coffees are grown on large estates which use state of the art methods and equipment to produce more consistent clean and fragrant coffees with moderate acidity.
Heritage and Coffee Plant Varietals of Papua New Guinea
Coffee cultivation in Papua New Guinea began with seeds imported from Jamaica’s renown Blue Mountain region in 1937. This heritage is not lost in today’s Papua New Guinea coffees, which have flavor profiles that still exhibit similarities to the older style Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee.
Coffee plant varietals grown in New Guinea include Blue Mountain (Coffea Arabica var. blue mountain), Catimor (Coffea arabica var. catimor), Caturra (Coffea arabica var. caturra) and Mundo Novo (Coffea arabica hybrid mundo novo).
Also grown in Papua New Guinea is Arusha, a Coffea arabica varietal that is either a Typica or French Mission variety. Also see New Guinea Sigri Coffee; New Guinea Arona Coffee; New Guinea Kimel Coffee.
Papua New Guinea Coffee and Espresso Brewing Tips
For tips on brewing the perfect cup of Papua New Guinea coffee see our section on Coffee Brewing. You can also read detailed coffee flavor profiles of the world’s top Gourmet Coffees and instructions on preparing Espresso Drink Recipes.