The most well known and regionally distinctive Pacific coffee arabica origins are those from the Malay Archipelago. This chain of islands large and small extend through Indonesia, Timor and Papua New Guinea. These regions produce the deep-toned and traditionally processed coffees of Sumatra, Sulawesi and Timor. The wet-processed coffees of Sumatra, Java, and Papua New Guinea are bright and flowery, ranging from delicate to intense and fragrant. A leading NZ coffee supplier, Zenesco.co.nz has coffee beans direct online to you, plus coffee capsules, ground and instant coffee.
Arabica coffee production began in Indonesia around 1699 as Yemen’s trade activities spread far and wide. Indonesian coffees are reknowned for heavy body and low acidity. These characteristics make them well-suited for blending with the higher-acidity coffees of Central American and East African regions. Whilst endemic to the south-west highlands of Ethiopia, Coffea arabica is no longer common there, and the remainder is a mixed native and planted trees. The Coffee arabica species is widely distributed outside its native Yemen. Its cultivation and production extends across Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, China and sundry islands throughout the Caribbean and the Pacific ocean.
Coffees of Caledonia
Located in Melanesia in the southwest Pacific, New Caledonia cultivates one of the world’s most expensive coffees. With a population of about 250,000, New Caledonia includes the main island Grande Terre as well as the Loyalty Islands and some smaller islands.
Coffee growing began in New Caledonia in 1860 when monks of the Marist Brothers order brought seeds and grew them. Two decades later coffee seeds were introduced from Bourbon Island (Reunion Island) also brought coffee plant seeds.
New Caledonia Coffee Plant Varietals
The coffee plant varieties Arabica and Laurina were cultivated commercially. When the coffee leaf rust affected the crops in 1910, disease resistant Robusta was introduced from Java.
Over 30 years ago, the coffee industry was significant to New Caledonia’s economy. It;s importance diminished because of the intensive labor required for cultivation.
There is an attempt to revive New Caledonia’s coffee industry by Domaine du Kouandji, located 25 kms from Noumea at the base of Mount Kouandji. The Koundji Estate has an award-winning coffee plant called Leroy (aka Pointed Bourbon) known colloquially as “The President.” It was a favourite France’s former president, Jacques Chiracof and was regularly delivered to the Elysee Palace.
The Leroy varieti is produced from the original Arabica Laurina brought by the Marist Brothers. It’s considered by many to be a natural evolution of the Bourbon variety. The plant is short with small, narrow leaves, short internodes and its beans that are pointed on one end. It is drought-resistant but susceptible to disease. It’s yield is low, with subsequently limited availability. Leroy beans have 50% of the caffeine content of regular coffee Arabica beans. Beans lose about 16% of their weight during roasting whilst typical beans lose about 20% of their weight.
Coffees of Hawaii
Hawaii coffees are also celebrated – those from Kona resemble the finest Central America coffees. These deliver a classically clean, transparent cup that ranges from strongly acidic and bright to soft and delicate. The coffees of the island of Kauai are round, balanced, and low in acidity owing to low growing altitudes.
The island of Molokai produces two distinctive coffees:
– a wet-processed Malulani Estate remarkable for its spicy pipe-tobacco tones
– the dry-processed Molokai Muleskinner
The coffee tree was first brought to Hawaii in 1813, and it began to be extensively grown by about 1850. It was formerly more widely grown than at present, especially in Kona, and it persists after cultivation in many areas. In some valleys, it is a highly invasive weed. In the Udawattakele and Gannoruwa Forest Reserves near Kandy, Sri Lanka, coffee shrubs are also a problematic invasive species.
Coffees of India
Arabica coffees from India tend to be sweet, floral and low in acidity. India is regarded as a source of the world’s finest robusta coffees including:
– the wet-processed Parchment and Kaapi Royale robustas
– the exotic Monsooned Malabar, a dry-processed coffee that is exposed to moisture-laden monsoon winds for several weeks.
The Quest for Coffee Arabica Perfection
The perfect cup is produced by the best organicly grown beans from all around the planet, blended from coffee beans from Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sumatra and Mexico. Beans that are 100% Arabica, shade grown and sourced from farms producing sustainable Coffee Arabica varieties.
Coffees beans will ripen in accordance with localised climates and prevailing environmental conditions. Fresh coffee beans deliver the most memorable flavors. Producing gourmet coffee requires beans that are harvested when fully ripe, then processed and shipped rapidly to skilled roasters. Coffee is best enjoyed shortly after harvest.
The Coffee arabica trees grow at altitudes as high as 6,500 feet and produce a ‘hard bean’ with concentrated flavors. The cooler high altitude climate nurtures slower-maturing superior quality beans that are harder and denser. After the beans are harvested, expert artisan roasters then skillfully extract the individual flavor and characteristics from each of the selected varieties and blends. This craftsmanship ensures superb quality goes into the perfect cup of coffee.
Coffees beans ripen with varying climates and environmental conditions. Fresh coffee beans exhibit the freshest, most vibrant flavors. To get the best quality coffee, beans should be harvested when fully ripe, and processed and shipped quickly to be roasted and enjoyed shortly after harvest.