Background Coffee from the Kabiufa area usually exchanges ownership in random small volumes at one of the many anonymous ‘roadside scales’ (small parchment buying points). This coffee ends up in blended untraceable and unremarkable Y grade lots. This is the case when there is no dedicated local coffee buyer to access and market the regionality of this coffee, and this was the case in Moses’ community.
First cherries at the wet mill were purchased late November 2019, in the far end of that year’s coffee season under the trade name ‘Riverside Coffee’. With high-quality in mind, Moses organised the buying process in a (for PNG) unique way: significant premiums of 30% above market price are paid immediately to the supplier for a “red cherry only” delivery. This means cherry is hand-sorted at the wet mill, prior to weighing it and buying it. The carefully selected ripe cherry gets processed while the unripe cherry is discarded. This serves both as a deterrent to the delivery of unripe cherries and to encourage better harvesting at the farm.
Although Moses has only been operating on a small scale (50 smallholder cherry suppliers) and is only new to the world of coffee, his ability to effectively implement best practices are remarkable. Of course, the high premiums being paid pique the interest of more coffee growers in the area.
Riverside has already several deliveries of small lots under its belt. The frequency and consistency between and within deliveries are a firm indicator that the quality we found is not just a “one-off lucky delivery”. This underlines that this immaculately processed Kabiufa coffee deserves a place in the spotlight.