Like many Australians, we have been brought up on the taste of Papua New Guinea coffee. The isolated tropical island located just a few hours by air from the mainland has always been one of the closest and more practical sources of beans. In 2011, we set out to develop a perfectly balanced blend that would also encapsulate our story.
Our organic house blend Magneto is based on the PNG’s quality coffee from Purosa Estate. The fruit grows in lush highlands with high altitude and cooler climate which is perfect for the cultivation of high-quality arabica.
Up until today, 70% of the population are still dependent on subsistence agriculture with small plots of coffee trees.
The farmers use exclusively traditional farming methods as non-natural treatments are simply too costly and the logistics impossible. This guarantees that your coffee was grown without the use of any chemicals, synthetic fertilisers or pesticides.
Papua’s two largest cities, Port Moresby and Lae, are still not linked by road to any of the other major towns on the island and are only directly connected by light aircraft or on foot. There are not many roads and the few are pretty dangerous. Hijacking incidents are no rarity.
While this makes business harder, it also means that the island is still relatively free of trace elements of chemicals and car pollutants. We’re pretty confident that PNG’s lots are as organic as it can get.
Passion for coffee runs in the family
Coffee from PNG is sought after for its boldness and rich palette and dominant notes of chocolate and nuts. It has naturally low levels of caffeine and acidity. Its notes are clean and fresh with earth-toned, citrus flavour and a nutty, chocolate finish.
This coffee is special to us for many reasons. But the main one is that our founder Jaxon’s old man, Perry Taylor, used to be a Macair pilot flying in and out of remote villages.
He was carrying gold, silver and elusive arabica coffee beans. He was manoeuvring through difficult weather conditions and between remote islands where the mines were located. Often landing on challenging steep air strips, he had to keep himself and the precious cargo safe.
“I would wake up in the morning, brew my coffee and set off to fly the plane over the rugged mountains and through thick clouds,” Perry remembers his morning routine in the good old Papua days.
Perry watched the locals drinking their coffee black as it was grown and roasted in small backyards and milk was rarely available. They would squeeze a bit of lime juice in it. This balanced out the flavour by adding acidity. Sure enough, Perry kept squeezing lime into his espresso even after he moved back to Australia, craving the taste of the quality coffee he used to drink in the highlands.
Our first house blend Magneto
The world of single origins is fascinating but it can also suck you in very quickly. After experimenting with so many different flavour profiles, we realized one important thing.
The more interested you get in a flavour in coffee, the quicker you get sick of it.
We decided to base our first house blend on the best single origin from PNG that we could lay our hands on. Coffee from Purosa Estate makes up 50% of Magneto.
The name was inspired by aviation too. Magnetos supply power to the spark plugs in the cylinders. “Mags on!” we say before firing up the engine. Magneto’s self-powered operation offers increased reliability, just like a morning cup that wakes you up.
Magneto is an organic blend made up of Papua New Guinea, South and Central American beans. It is a full bodied coffee with smooth mouth feel and soft acidity.
Photos: Archive of Perry Taylor, courtesy of Macair