Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea
In the rugged Eastern Highlands, morning fog fills valleys and slopes while mountaintops bask in sunshine. As the day warms, the fog moves up the mountain, snagging on the summits until the clouds brood up their daily rainstorm. Spent, the clouds roll meekly back down into the valley with the cool night
temperatures. Lovely climate for coffee. Not so great for air traffic schedules. However, Goroka, the provincial capital, is a hub for coffee transportation east and west, as well as the headquarters for leading coffee exporters.
Culturally diverse, with more than 800 languages, most highland tribes had no exposure to western influence until the 1900’s. Commercial coffee growing began in the1920’s after coffee seeds--a Typica varietal named Jamaica blue Mountain--were imported from Jamaica. At first, most coffee was grown on 18 large plantations.However, 85% of coffee in PNG is grown now in “coffee gardens” containing from
a couple of coffee trees to a couple hundred.