Papua’s “Blue Mountain Coffee”
|Green coffee beans from Monamani, Papua|
It was surprisingly easy to get hold of it, all I had to do was ask! As Moanamani is one of the larger villages we actually have a guy there, Dessi, to help organise passengers wanting to fly to and from the airport. A quick call to him and I had a bag of coffee, direct from the hills ready and waiting for me when I’d parked the aircraft up on the apron.
|Typical shop bought coffee in Indonesia|
However, all was not so good with the coffee I’d managed to get my hands on. Sadly this stuff (pictured above), is prepared in the traditional Indonesian way which I’m really not a fan of. For those who don’t know, the method involves taking the freshly picked and dried coffee beans and roasting them until they’re black as coal. Then the beans are ground up into a powder similar in consistency to flour.
To drink this coffee you put a teaspoon of the powder into a cup and add boiling water. Then stir, add sugar if required, and wait for it to settle before drinking. It tastes like dirt in my opinion. I still find it incredible that such a huge coffee producing nation, on the whole, still haven’t learnt the methods employed by the nations that enjoy the coffee they produce. Anyway, attempt two resulted in me getting hold of some freshly dried beans, ready for me to roast and grind for myself.
|The beginning of the roasting process|
Now, as much as I enjoy coffee, I actually had no idea how to roast the beans. Thankfully the internet knows all and after a bit of reading, as well as asking some friends, I set to roasting a small sample of the beans in a saucepan, on a gas hob.
|About mid-way through the roasting process|
It took about 30 mins of roasting, popping and stirring to get to the colour I was looking for. I think that might have been a little too long, judging by what I’ve read online so next time I’ll try a hotter flame for less time to get the same colour.
|The finished roasted beans|
Anyway, once ground up and prepared in a cafetière (or coffee press or plunger – depending where you come from) it tasted great! Nothing like the dirt I’d tried previously thankfully. The beans have a lovely smooth taste and are not bitter at all, requiring no sugar and just a splash of milk. Can’t wait to experiment further with the roasting and try making some espresso when I get back to Timika. Living in the jungle does have it advantages!
|Time to enjoy some coffee!|