Papua New Guinea coffee – awesome find

in Buying Coffee

On my recent visit to the Fire Roasted Coffee Company (FRCC) in Ontario, Canada, owner David Cook picked out a pound of their Papua New Guinea coffee for me to try.  I brought it home and threw it on top of my current coffee overstock at home.  This would be my first coffee from New Guinea and since it was hand-roasted by the FRCC and hand-picked by its owner, I knew if the quality of bean was good, that the brewed coffee would be outstanding.


And the verdict is that it was outstanding.  Papua New Guinea coffee is often overlooked, and you aren’t likely to find it even in most specialty coffee shops.  It simply does not have name appeal and this is what makes it a well-kept secret, because it’s a great coffee.  As advertised, it has a soft richness, sweet acidic flavor, and dark rich body.  In fact, I recommend it for anybody that enjoys a dark roast over a medium roast.  It is very well suited for the darker roasts, which I like personally.

And I felt good drinking it because FRCC’s Papua New Guinea coffee is grown organically and Fair Trade certified.  This means that the coffee farmer that is likely not living under the best of conditions received a fair minimum price for the coffee he harvested, and some small part of the coffee sold retail will go towards development projects in the growing region.

One more interesting point.  New Guinea has great growing conditions and these particular beans come from plants transplanted from the infamous Jamaican Blue Mountain region.  Along with Hawaiian Kona coffee, Jamaican Blue Mountain fetches a big premium.  Over time, Blue Mountain coffee has lost some of the consistency in how it’s processed and while it still costs as much, the quality varies and its reputation has been hurt.  These transplants to New Guinea do not come with the same premium on price so I can pretend I’m drinking coffee with the elite of the world but with better quality, more consistency, and of benefit to the coffee grower.

Learn more about the Fire Roasted Coffee Company’s Papua New Guinea coffee.

Peets Coffee and Tea carries a New Guinea coffee they call New Guinea Highlands.  They say in their opinion, it’s one of the BEST coffees in the world and they know coffee.  That’s a big claim since you simply don’t hear people talking about New Guinea coffee.

And for that lack of name appeal, the more retail-focused Starbucks Store does not carry a coffee from New Guinea.  It is understandable so consider trying this from Peets or if you would like to support the Fair Trade cause, check out trying this from the Fire Roasted Coffee Company.

6 Comments

  1. You don’t have to tell me what a delectable thing New Guinea coffee is. I’ve been hooked since my first cup, and it’s pretty much my gold standard for coffee. Why it hasn’t caught on more widely even among the “coffee elite” is a mystery to me.

    Comment by John Grabowski — November 2, 2012 @ 12:43 am

  2. I agree, John. For whatever reason, it’s still after the respect that it deserves.

    Comment by Marc Wortman — November 5, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

  3. New Guinea Highlands is my favorite coffee in the world, and your description of its unique taste (a soft richness, sweet acidic flavor, dark rich body) is the best description I’ve yet heard of its special qualities. There’s this light, semi-sweet, semi-floral aroma and taste right at the nose that’s hard to describe but which I’ve never experienced with any other cup. I can tell New Guinea just by smelling the cup. It’s very rich, as you say yet has a very clean finish and never leaves me thirsty. Truly a coffee-drinker’s coffee. And I’m not convinced Peets, especially since the death of Alfred Peet and their sale to a bunch of German bean counters, knows how special it is. Peets former coffee buyer, Shirin Moayyad, was largely responsible, since she grew up and lived in that region. The very definition of an employee I would hang on to at all costs, she’s since gone to a competitor, Nespresso, and lo and behold, Nespresso’s coffees have become bolder and darker too, though admittedly they still don’t have anything that quite compares to New Guinea.

    Comment by John Grabowski — August 25, 2014 @ 12:22 am

  4. John, thank you for the comment, and this information about Peets. It’s nice to think that the large scale roasters would purchase enough volume from any of the well-known growing regions, that they would have contact like Shirin’s who know the area and its people well. I see a lot of PNG peaberry, and I try some whenever I can – I think it’s the mark of a good roaster to do justice to his particular coffee. Thanks again for the comment.

    Comment by Marc Wortman — August 26, 2014 @ 2:43 pm

  5. Peets is officially discontinuing NGH coffee as of January. They say there isn’t the demand. Well, of course not, they never promote it.

    Comment by John Grabowski — December 15, 2016 @ 10:59 pm

  6. Good to know, and I am surprised. Hopefully you will find a local roaster doing this bean justice. Thanks for the comment.

    Comment by Marc Wortman — December 15, 2016 @ 11:05 pm

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