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Challenges Facing Coffee Business in West Papua Today

Coffee Market, Coffee Purchasing by the Baliem Arabica Cooperative
One of the Papuan Coffee Farmers

One of the Papuan Coffee Farmers

There are at least three challenges facing the Coffee Business in West Papua (Papua and Papua Barat provinces of Indonesia), that I need to expose to the public in order to improve the quality and quantity of Papua Coffee Production. One is contextual, second technical and third financial challenges.  The first challenge is the context of socio-culture, modernization process, Papuan peoples and coffee business. The first challenge is the ethos of the Papuan peoples ourselves in doing business. We are the fist generations since modernization reached our villages in late 1960s. Most of us were born in stone-age era, when our parents did not know the calendar (date and year) we were born. But now within 20-30 years on, we are already in globalized and internet technology era. We did not know anything about money, let alone business. The only thing we knew was barter, I exchange what I have with another material that I value has equal or similar value.

Right now we are in a way “forced into this modern way of doing business”, which is totally new and challenging but most of the time it looks like a big problem for us.

We are facing so many things at once in one lifetime: we have to behave as modern religious person, we have to dress in modern way, sleep and eat in modern way, we have to learn how to read and write, we have to learn how to wear clothes and shoes/ sandals, we have to not only learn, but behave in a modern way. And in this particular case, we have to learn how to grow, and process coffee, and sell the coffee: how to promote, distribute, sell; how to get customers, and how to decide on price and bargains, and many others.

Coffee farmers grow and harvest coffee not purely because they need money. There is no money-oriented activities yet. They just plant, look after and harvest coffee because others are doing the same, because the coop is coming to buy them, not because they want to sell coffee for their own economic development. They virtually do not need money for daily lives.

The Coffee Business in West Papua officially started in 2007, marked by the establishment of the Baliem Arabica Cooperative in Wamena, West Papua’ s highlands capital. We just started the coffee plantation and processing, not the coffee business. Coffee business actually started from 2009, and we are still at the every early stage. We are still “baby” in business and in particular in coffee business. This is a challenge, the first challenge that we are facing, and we hope we will soon grow to become small child, teenage, and youth.

second challenge is due to government policy. Right now in West Papua, but also Indonesia in general, most of the government officials do business utilizing the government money. The government officials set up companies in their names of their wives or relatives, then they designate most of the government projects to the companies that they own themselves.

In Wamena, Deiyai, Gogiyai, Jayapura, at the Regency and Provincial level, it is very obvious. Everyone can see that government officers are businessmen / businesswomen themselves. They fly around Indonesia using public money, but they also fly coffee all over Indonesia, under their name, and sell them to customers outside West Papua.

Jhon Kwano as Promotion, Marketing and Sales Manager of the Cooperative who based in Jakarta have met a number of customers in Jakarta, at their cafes, and they confessed that they have met the “Bupati Kopi” (Coffee Regent) so and so. They suggested to Mr. Kwano that all the regents should focus on their public services, not using their position to do business. Kwano has no power, no channel, no interest in doing so.

Kwano says it is better the Regents turn into Coffee Regents rather than some officials in West Papua who use the money and build their palaces in their home-village. Many of the officers in West Papua come from outside West Papua. When they get positions in the government offices, then the first thing they think and they do is building their ‘palaces’ in their home-village, in their home-island, not in New Guinea.And it costs them billions of rupiahs to build just one.

Everyday we hear news broadcasts saying the government in Wset Papua have trillions of Indonesian rupiahs to build West Papua. They are proud of spending a lot of money for the western part of the New Guinea Island. But they do not know that actually the money goes back to Java, Sumatera, Sulawesi and Borneo, as most of the officers are from those islands, not from West Papua. West Papua has now become a “Money Transit Airport” for many Indonesian peoples.

The last and most disturbing challenge is the access to the sources of power and financial institutions/ facilities. All of the coffee farmers live in villages, most of us do not speak Indonesian language, several coffee farmers are illiterate. All coop staff members are farmers ourselves, none of us are interested in government and government offices.

Doing business in this modern era needs access to financial sources and power sources, but none of the farmers in West Papua are interested in them. Likewise, those financial institutions and government offices are also not interested in facilitating the local Papuan Coffee farmers to get access to the financial resources or access services delivered by the government offices. All farmers are left alone, plant coffee if they want to, and sell some if they want to, as they have traditionally been doing in villages. Government officials are also do their own things, including promoting and selling coffee by themselves. Whereas financial institutions always blame the Papuans for not fulfilling the requirement to be able to get loans from the bank.

The banks need ID Card, Driving License, Car Ownership Book, House and Land Certificate, all of these do not exist in the mind as well as in the real life of the coffee farmers. They have land, but no land certificate. They do not need cars. They do not have ID card, and if they wanted to then there is a line of procedures that they have to follow to get one, within some weeks, sometimes months.

What is expected ahead? I do not know what to say, but at least from this article you guys can guess what we should do, and what you can do to help in this coffee business in West Papua.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Papua - September 13, 2017 at 2:45 am

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Papua Arabica Coffee, Wamena Single Origin and Baliem Arabica Coop

Baliem Blue Coffee )BBCfffee_ in various sizes and packaging
Baliem Arabica Cooperative, Wamena, Wet Papua

Baliem Arabica Cooperative, Wamena, Wet Papua

The Coffee Business in West Papua started since 2007, when the USAID funds seek for beneficiaries and found Ev. Selion Karoba, S.Th., and his coffee group that he set up in 1996 in order to help his elder brother, Yalimu Karoba to roast and drink his coffee. Yalimu has been planting coffee since the Dutch Colonial time, when he was a small boy. He continued planting them and processing them for himself, not for sale.

Since 2007, a coop by the name of Baliem Arabica Cooperative was set up, under the funding of USAID, and Ev. Selion Karoba was elected as the chair of the cooperative.

Since then coffee farmers groups were formed in various parts in come of the the central highlands villages. Coffee trees were taken care, and the coop held a series of training to help the farmers better process the coffee.

Just in less then 3 years, the Papua Coffee, Wamena Single Origin was certified organic by various international certification organisations such as Rainforest Alliance and CERES.

Papua Arabica Coffee, Wamena Single Origin then certified as Papua Arabica Specialty Coffee in 2008.

In 2009 the cooperative exported for the first time, the Baliem Arabica Coffee, or Papua Coffee, Wamena Single Origin to the USA market. Since then the coop had been exporting to the USA and other international markets.

Baliem Arabica Coffee was branded as the “Baliem Blue Coffee” as the end product of the Papua Wamena Single Origin Coffee.

Baliem Blue Coffee or BBCoffee is now sold widely in West Papua and Indonesia as freshly roasted beans or ground coffee. Pleaes go to, and to see our products.

The Sales of the Papua Coffee is done by the First and only online store with its Group Companies as follows


The cooperative process the coffee in Jayapura where there is a coffee production house or commonly called “BBCoffee Warehouse”, at Kampung Harapan, East Sentani, Jayapura Regency.

Its main marketing, distribution and sales office is in Yogyakarta, Maguwoharjo, Depok, Sleman. This is the centre for Online Store, and the Papua e-Commerce Development Office. This office was set up on 1 July 2013.

The coop also set up its distribution office in Jakarta on 1 December 2015, on Jalan Moh Kahfi 1, Ciganjur, Jagakarsa, South Jakarta, just 1 km off the famous Ragunan Zoo.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Papua - at 12:54 am

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Coffee & Controversy: Benefits of RSE Scheme

By Fern Napwatt Oct 19, 2016.

Indisputable discussions on the social costs of the RSE Scheme seemed to be the focus other than the benefits of the scheme when it comes to gender during the Coffee & Controversy show at Lava Lounge yesterday.

The panel was made of Season Worker Programme’s (SWP) John Salong, Glen Craig from Pacific Advisory, TNC Consultant’s Tess Newton Cain, Daily Post’s Dan McGarry and hosted by Mark O’Brien from 96 Buzz FM.

Mr John Salong from the Seasonal Workers Programme said that social costs were higher than the economic return so since the establishment of the labour scheme, men were the target and women were to stay back and look after the community.

“Men don’t provide nurture and care like women do, that is why there is 83% men in the RSE scheme and 17% women, women are encourage to stay back and look after the children, elderly and the community,” he said.

Tess Newton Cain said that the World Bank and the IMF concentrated more on economic return than social costs of their programs that were initiated to help the people of Vanuatu.

Mr Salong said that Vanuatu sent 2,500 workers to work in New Zealand in 2015 and Australia recruited 900 and is looking into increasing the number to at least 2,000 workers.

“The benefits of the RSE is more obvious back in the island communities, where there is lighting from solar purchased by the RSE workers and easy access to water through water tanks they have bought,” he said.

“There is also cultural exchange of work experience when the workers go to New Zealand or Australia, this is casual work and during the period they learn different method of farming and labour from other work mates.”

Mrs Newton Cain said that on the other hand the RSE was having negative impacts on the local businesses within the country that lose their workers to the overseas labour scheme.

“Local business are bearing the brunt because they are the ones who have provided training for these people who leave to work in the SWP scheme, the businesses do not benefit from this scheme as the workers don’t come to work when they return from Australia or New Zealand,” she said.

Mr Salong reiterated that the scheme was a casual job and the minimum wage in Vanuatu was not liveable and the scheme was a chance to improve the lives of the local communities through the labourers.

Pacific Advisory’s, Glen Craig disagreed that workers in Vanuatu were paid according to the scope of works they were assigned to and that there is a significant loss of number of skills to overseas labour.

According to Mr Salong, unless there is an increase of labour force rates in Vanuatu it will be an advantage that the skills acquired stays in the country.

“Workers in the RSE scheme who go for 3 – 6 months earned $4,000 in New Zealand and $ 6,000 in Australia and that totals Vt2 million that they bring back into the country and used to improve their communities,” he said.

Mr Craig said that after TC Pam, 400 workers in the RSE scheme in New Zealand have organised 7 tonnes of clothes that was sent over to their families that were affected to which Media Director for Daily Post, Dan McGarry agreed that Vanuatu’s society is one of the most egalitarian in the world.

“The social costs of the scheme is important to consider and this topic will be further discussed later in the week when we have a representative from the New Zealand High Commission come over,” McGarry said.

Due to the many good and bad factors of the SWP/RSE scheme, the debate will be aired later in the week so stay tuned.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Papua - October 23, 2016 at 1:55 pm

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Epi coffee farmers make first harvest

Epi coffee farmers make first harvest, Republic of Vanuatu

Epi coffee farmers make first harvest, Republic of Vanuatu

By Anita Roberts Oct 1, 2016 DailyPost – This year marks a milestone for the Mafilau Coffee Farmers Association on the island of Epi since 2012 when it was given 2,000 coffee seedlings to get on its feed just after establishment.

The seedlings were delivered by the Tanna Coffee and Vanuatu Agriculture Department. Four years later, the young and struggling association have celebrated its first harvest of 51kg green beans.

Formed in 2011, this coffee farmers association is headed by a female, Eny Yona.

Providing a stable production of coffee, enhancing the coffee industry and ensuring a steadfast income stream for more farmers in Vanuatu was the idea of supplying the seedlings to the small association, said the Operations Manager of the Tanna Coffee, Yasmine Adlington-Walden.

“We (the Tanna Coffee) have future plans to replicate this success story on many other islands in Vanuatu.

“We are proud of the achievement of the Epi farmers. We will continue to support them as they grow, develop and value add to the country’s coffee industry, said another Tanna Coffee Spokesperson, Nambas Jacob Samuel. Mr Samuel went to the Epi to visit the farmers on Epi and has supplied an addition 32kg of coffee seeds to boost production.

The Mafilau Coffee Farmers Association has also been provided with a coffee pulper machine.

It is a device used to remove the pulp from a coffee cherry after it has been harvested. The cherries are passed through a pulping machine for the skin and pulp to be separated from the coffee bean.

An occasion was held at the village of Mafilau on west Epi to commemorate the first Epi coffee harvest.

Councillor of the west area council, Joseph Merip, who is also the leading cocoa farmer on Epi said the soil on the island is ideal for growing both cocoa and coffee.

“Its high time that the farmers on Epi start growing more cash crops like cocoa, coffee and kava.

“Epi’s coffee flavor is unique, similar to its cocoa”, he added.

The coffee association is small but it is growing slowly, he said.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Papua - October 1, 2016 at 2:11 pm

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5 things to learn from a coffee expert

DailyPost – Brandpoint (BPT), 

(BPT) – Coffee is more than a drink  it’s a lifestyle and an integral part of people’s everyday lives. In fact, more than half of Americans enjoy a cup of coffee daily, according to the 2016 National Coffee Drinking Trends Report.

For some people, coffee is a career. Lindsey Bolger, Senior Vice President of Coffee Sourcing & Excellence at Keurig Green Mountain, is an internationally recognized coffee taster who travels extensively in the coffee-producing world developing relationships with coffee farmers. A dream job for many, read on to learn more about your brew from a leading coffee expert.

1. Coffee isn’t really a bean.

Coffee is the seed of a fruit. It grows on evergreen shrubs that look like a laurel tree with green, shiny leaves that flower once or twice per year. The flower turns into a fruit, which has two seeds. Those seeds are called coffee beans. When the raw coffee cherries are ripe, farmers harvest them by hand, then work with local millers to hull, dry, taste and inspect each batch removing any beans that are damaged or discolored to make sure only the best make it through.

2. There’s a lot of coffee in your K-Cup pod.

On average, there is the equivalent of 75 whole beans worth of coffee inside each coffee K-Cup pod. Extra bold beverages, like Green Mountain Coffee Dark Magic coffee, have even more coffee in the pods around 30 percent more. Related to bold coffee, a common misconception is that dark roasts have more caffeine than light roasts, which is not true. A dark coffee takes longer to roast at a higher temperature, which actually burns more caffeine out of the coffee.

3. Slurp, don’t sip.

If you want to taste like an expert coffee Q-grader and impress your friends, start slurping. Unlike sipping wine or any other beverage, a slurping technique is essential to properly taste coffee. It allows the coffee to aerate and broadcast to different taste receptors in the mouth, covering your entire palette, ensuring that the broadest expression of the coffee is experienced. It’s a noisy process, but try it to taste the difference!

4. You can taste the region.

A coffee’s flavor profile is based on the region the coffee beans are sourced from. Indonesian coffees have a deep, dark earthiness whereas Ethiopian coffees tend to be fruity. There’s a strong caramel sweetness to Colombian roasts compared to Brazilian coffees where mild, nutty notes are common. Identify what you like, and stick to coffees grown from that location. The best climate and soil condition to grow all coffee is above 4,000 feet elevation, 1,000 miles north or south of the equator.

5. Coffee farmers make your brew possible.

Exceptional coffee is made by working hand-in-hand with the people who grow, harvest and mill it. The Green Mountain Coffee you enjoy is connected to and nurtured by people and communities across the globe. Fair Trade Certified coffee means a better cup for you and a better quality of life for farmers, and Green Mountain is dedicated to caring for these people and places, purchasing high quality coffee and working to improve these communities now and years to come.

Visit for more information.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Papua - September 29, 2016 at 2:32 pm

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5 ways coffee was there for us all summer long

Dailypost – Brandpoint (BPT) Sep 20, 2016 – (BPT) – ¡Adios summer! Hello fall! There’s no denying the days are getting shorter and weather is getting cooler, but before breaking out the jackets and jeans, let’s take time to look back on the faithful friend that was a constant part of summer fun. From fueling warm-weather adventures to turning simple moments into special occasions, here are the five ways Café Bustelo(R) coffee was there through it all and never held us back.

1. Making meaningful connections

There’s something about spending time with friends over a cup (or two or three) of coffee that creates an oasis where individuals with similar tastes and personalities can gather and celebrate life. Enjoying the perfect cafecito, cortadito or café con leche together transforms a simple gathering into a special event.

2. Variations for the perfect cup

Iced Café con Leche or Iced Café con Chocolate is a favorite refresher during summer months when festivals, concerts and a variety of outdoor activities pop up every weekend. As fall approaches, we’re switching back to hot coffee drinks to keep getting the most out of every single moment.

3. Real things made by real people

That moment when you’re handed a perfect cup of coffee, just how you like it. ¡¡Si!! Whether hot or iced, a richly flavored coffee like Café Bustelo stands up to milk and sugar so your coffee turns out perfectly every time.

4. Celebrating life

Between vibrant days and nights filled with singing, dancing and summer excitement, the moments spent with a cup of bold java was a chance to pause and fully appreciate it all.

5. The essence of La Vida Latina

Summer was full of moments exploring new lively, vibrant tastes and cultures while experiencing a taste of the Latin life by mixing up your favorite coffee – a cafecito, cortadito or café con leche. The good news is that all of the above preparations make bold, flavorful experiences for fall too.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Papua - September 20, 2016 at 3:05 pm

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Food Alchemy Papua Coffee

Christina Avaness – At events I encounter many questions…recently someone asked what Roast I recommend and when I answered they said that the information was very helpful and I should post it! So here goes…

Selecting a Roast depends on your taste and what properties of the coffee you are looking for…

Light roast provides a mild flavor and more caffeine content excellent choice for those looking for a morning boost! Recommended for drivers and for students who spend long hours behind the wheel and/or studying.

Medium roast maintains good caffeine content I recommend it for for those who like their coffee with cream and sugar and also for those interested in trying Papua for the first time.

Medium/Dark roast offers full bodied flavor for those who enjoy drinking their coffee black and also appreciate the alkalizing and detoxifying properties of Papua.

Dark roast offers a rich full flavor and an abundance of essential oils to help the body alkalize and detoxify. Also it may surprise you to know that it has the least caffeine content. Great flavor and mild caffeine make this the best choice if your looking for “decaf”.

We roast Papua coffee beans exclusively, so every roast provides the healthful detoxifying properties that make “Papua the best non-acidic coffee in the world!”

There is additional information on our website:

I encourage you to visit the website and see the amazing variety Food Alchemy Papua Coffee has to offer!

Christina Avaness
Food Alchemist

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Papua - July 9, 2016 at 3:38 am

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Papua Coffea, Organic arabica

KSU Baliem Arabica supplies Organic Arabica coffee directly from West Papua, Indonesia.

We only export organically certified and Grade A Coffee. We process our Grade B and C inside West Papua for local consumption,

To get more information on the coffee, please contact us at: and

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Papua - December 10, 2015 at 10:25 am

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Organic Arabica Coffee: Special Price for Special Buyers

Papua Arabica Coffee

Organic Arabica (Papua Arabica) Coffee with Special Price for Special buyers is on offer from 22 July 2014 to 22 August 2014

This is a very special offer to

  • our regular customers (those who have been buying Papua arabica coffee within the last 5 months, or
  • those who want to buy our coffee now and will buy our coffee on regular basis from now on
  • those who want to buy maximum of 500 kg

of Organic Papua Arabica Green Beans

It has been reported by KSU Baliem Arabica on its site that this year’s first harvest is in July 2014 and it is now on sale. Anyone can buy from now and until 22 August 2014, the cooperative will change its policy on the price.

This special offer puts the price at Rp.67.000,- per kg of Papua Arabica Green Beans.

Here is the specification of the coffee as sent by Warehouse manager in Wamena just some days ago:

1. Coffee Variety:   Arabica
2. Moisture:             11,5-12,5 %
3, Grade:                   Grade One
4. Certification:       Organic RA/ Control Union
5. Price :                    FOB Sentani Wirehouse, Jayapura dengan harga special Rp. 67.000/ kg.
6. Processed:           “wet hulling” technique (also called semi-washed)

Those who want to know more information please contact us:

  • Phone: +6281238301001 (English) +6285769223000 (Malay – Indonesian)
  • Email:;;;

How to purchase?

You can purchase by contacting us directly. We will provide you with our bank account details so that you can transfer to our bank account either online or bank wire.

We appologize that so far we do not have online purchasing system that is available for sale in English language. We have Online Shop in Malay (Indonesian) version at In the future we want to develop as Online Shopping Centre for Papua Products but it is still under development.

In the meantime, we have another online shop for regular purchasing at Please do visit and have a look at what we offer there.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Papua - July 27, 2014 at 9:05 am

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Bean prices plummet but no bargains for coffee drinkers

Esther Han, January 5, 2014

A global glut has caused coffee bean prices to tumble but Sydneysiders might end up paying more for their cappuccino than ever.

Despite the price of arabica coffee beans plunging 54 per cent in the past three years, consumers will not see $2 lattes on the price board.

Cafe owners and roasters say the global price was not a factor in their pricing decisions, and admit the cost of a cup of coffee could even go up due to increased operational costs.

CoffeeThe price isn’t right: Barista Simon Fowler at Riley Street Cafe and Wine. He says a cup of coffee should cost at least $4.50. Photo: Ben Rushton
The average price for a takeaway cappuccino in Sydney last year was $3.46, up from $2.95 five years ago.

All regular takeaway coffees are $2.50 at B&W cafe in Wynyard, which opened six weeks ago. Operations manager Ross Muratore said the lower price point was based on the owners’ desire to offer a ”premium” product at a reasonable price rather than falling global coffee bean prices.

”Our model is based on frequency of unit sales rather than based on margins on each sale,” Mr Muratore said.

He has observed coffee roasters – their key supplier – raise prices. ”Five years ago, on average, a kilo of premium coffee was $25. Nowadays it’s $28 to $30 a kilo.”

Damion Alves, a coffee roaster of 17 years and supplier to supermarket brands and cafes across the country, said the coffee industry standard was to keep the retail price consistent and not reflect the fluctuations of the commodity.

He said Australian green-bean brokers had passed on cut prices to coffee roasters, in line with wholesale market trends. ”Five years ago, it was quite expensive. Bottom-end coffee beans cost $1 more a kilo, and up to $3 to $5 for the more expensive stuff,” he said. ”But the selling price [to coffee shops and the consumer] hasn’t changed much. Every operation has their reasons, running costs and other factors.”

”Back then, coffee roasters and operators were making less money because of higher prices. But now, it’s a profitable business, because coffee is slightly cheaper.”

A growing taste for high-quality coffee was also boosting coffee prices across the board, he said.

Riley Street Cafe and Wine, which opened three months ago, uses Mr Alves Blacksmith-branded coffee. Barista Simon Fowler said a cup of coffee, properly costed, should cost between $4.50 and $5.

”If we were to break down the cost of a coffee, including labour, water, milk, takeaway cups, everything, I guarantee the customer would be paying a lot more,” he said. ”But coffee drinkers are loyal to their cafe. If they’ve been coming all those years, it’s hard to start charging them 20 cents or 30 cents more.”

Worldwide coffee-bean output is expected to exceed demand by more than six million bags (a bag is 60 kilograms) in the 2013-14 season, compared with a surplus of 11.06 million bags the previous year, the US State Department of Agriculture said. Experts blame production booms, especially in Brazil, for the price plummeting to $US1.107 ($1.20) a pound (453 grams) on the ICE Futures in New York.

Spokespeople for coffee brands Moccona and Nescafe were unavailable for comment.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Papua - January 5, 2014 at 8:02 pm

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