Some would call it a waste of time; we call it diligence.

It’s what you get from organic farming, carefully selected beans and slow roasting.

To make it short: Choice, original coffees and espressos. A whole lot of people need to do a whole lot of work in order for these fresh and delicious coffees and espressos to make their way to your cup. Coffee is a luxury – in spite of current fashion. And that applies even more so to really good coffee like Mount Hagen’s. Do you know how many hours of effort, care and instinct can be found, for example, in a cup of Papua New Guinea single origin? No idea? Then let’s calculate it:

One kilogram of green coffee needs 5-7kg of coffee berries.Harvest per tree: 1.2kg per harvestTime to collect the fruit per tree: 40 minutes per harvest

Mount Hagen:
Sensitive. Sophisticated. And very spoiled.

Coffee cultivation isn’t exactly easy. As with wine, the quality depends on the soil conditions, terroir, climate and precipitation. Not to mention the organic standards, no chemical fertilizers, no pesticides, sustainable water resource management, etc.

For example, our Papua New Guinea single origin comes from the volcanic highlands around Mount Hagen and Goroka. There, the climate is balanced – temperatures rarely exceed 85° or fall below 50°F, there is sufficient rain and no droughts, such as in Ethiopia. And the soil is very rich in minerals. On approximately 5000 square feet, our Arabicas are nurtured, cared for, picked by hand and carefully selected in almost 3000 small coffee gardens under shade trees such as the casuarina, eucalyptus, banana and papaya tree. It’s why we call it “Coffee for Connoisseurs”.

The high altitude allows the coffee berries to grow quite slowly, which results in pronounced flavors and greater resilience of the plants. The plant sociology between trees and crops improves the soil quality, provides shade – so that less water evaporates – and also even provides food for the families of the farmers. In addition, birds, bees and other animals colonize in forest gardens like this, which results in fewer pests.

But harvesting is pure manual labor, particularly with the coffee gardens often lying on steep hillsides.

The flavor of experience, patience and sun.

Even harvesting the coffee has similarities with the grape harvest for wine-making:

Only really ripe (red) berries are picked by hand. Green berries would not be aromatic; black berries, i.e., overripe berries, would taste foul. A lot of experience is needed to recognize the optimum degree of ripeness because the time when the fruit is ready to harvest depends a lot on the respective climate and precipitation. However, this care is always worthwhile; it is the basis of the opulent flavors.

Shortly after the harvest, the coffee is prepared using the “wet method”. This means that the berries are placed in water tanks that allow the pulp of the fruit to swell, they are then pulped, fermented, washed multiple times and dried for 8-10 days. Such “washed” coffees are of particular high quality due to their nuanced, distinctive flavors. That’s the short version.

Just about every step from the berry to green coffee is decisive to its taste. That’s why we allow our coffees to ferment in the water tanks after pulping, for instance. There, the fermenting process runs at a slower and more controlled pace – the aromas become more nuanced. Afterwards, the beans are washed multiple times, also in order to sort out “floaters,” beans without seeds or with underdeveloped seeds. In the next step, this so-called parchment coffee is dried naturally because this also then ensures better quality.

In contrast to quick, mechanical drying, we give our beans time to develop: they are placed in flat drying beds in the sun for up to ten days, where they are regularly turned and covered during the hot midday sun as well as at nights, until they achieve the optimal residual moisture of 11.5%. After peeling and polishing they are again carefully selected by hand in order to sort out broken beans or foreign bodies, for example.

Then they are shipped to to us in Hamburg for the roasting.

Paradise is 400

At least when it comes to good coffee beans.

In contrast to “shock” industrial roasting, our beans are gently refined in drum roasters at just under 400°F for at least 11 minutes. Only through this process can they truly develop their complex flavors – incidentally, there are over 800 different flavors. By the same token, over the course of this time-intensive process, fruit acids (chlorogenic acids) that are hard on the stomach are broken down. Only finely nuanced acids remain and give our coffee its character. That’s why we roast our espressos even longer – for at least for 14 minutes: It’s what makes them so opulent, soft and spicy.

The roast master always decides precisely how long the roasting lasts. He constantly takes samples, examines the color, appearance and scent and can precisely determine the ideal time thanks to his years of experience. Extending or shortening the roasting period by just a few seconds can give rise to completely different bouquets from the very same green coffee.

After finishing the roasting, the coffee needs to be cooled quickly in order to stop the roasting from continuing inside the beans. And then whether your Mount Hagen becomes a good or perfect coffee is in your control. You only have to put just a little bit of effort into preparing it. You already know: “Coffee for Connoisseurs.”

Everything that you need to know, you can find at the respective coffees. Or under “Preparation” in our Encyclopedia.