As one of the best producers of coffee in the world, it was just these several last years that West Papua was filled with coffee shops in the cities. The coffee beans are usually sent out to other islands and countries. Now, visitors can find coffee shops and cafes that serve the best West Papuan coffee and food.
The History of Coffee in West Papua
Coffee plantations are best located in the heights, and West Papua has the perfect elevation for it. Around 600 kilometers of highlands stretched across the region from the Paniai Lake to the heights of Wamena to the borders to Papua New Guinea.
It was not until around 1960 that a Dutch government official, van der Sluis, brought seeds from Papua New Guinea to be planted in Lembah Baliem. The seeds were originated from Jamaica, known as Jamaica Blue Mountain.
When planted in the land of West Papua with its soil and weather characteristics, the coffee bean received a distinguished taste when brewed, rather different from the original seeds, Jamaica Blue Mountain. Now, West Papuan coffee continues to be known as one of the best Arabica coffee in the world. It has a taste of honey, fruity, caramel-like, with a sweet aftertaste.
Here are some of the best coffee shops in West Papua that you can visit:
Misool Filling Station
Being a part of Misool Eco Resort, Raja Ampat, Misool Filling Station is often visited by tourists who wait for their flight at Domine Eduard Osok Airport. The cozy ambiance of the upper floor and outdoor area of the café is the perfect combination for the authentic coffee they offer.
Besides coffee, they also serve a vegetarian menu and creative smoothie bowls, along with sweet and savory snacks. Just in the area of the café, you can find a souvenir station where you can buy local-produced trinkets. Do note that the opening of the café follows the opening schedule of the resort, so it will be most likely to close between July and September.
De KOffie Eatery
Situated just a few minutes from the Domine Eduard Osok Airport, the interior of De KOffie Eatery is a mix of modern minimalistic style with a touch of vintage colonial. Coffee enthusiasts must be interested in the varied way of brewing methods offered by this café.
They brew coffee with a machine and also manually, and visitors can choose the brewing method and a selection of coffee beans. You can choose to have your coffee made by V60, Vietnam dripped, cold brewed, or using a coffee siphon. Among others on the menu are juice, spaghetti, and rice bowls for a quick bite.
This is a coffee shop with a unique theme of engineering. Located in Jalan Yan Mamoribo, Raja Ampat, Engineering Coffee serves single-origin coffees from the best coffee beans from local producers.
It opens every Monday to Friday from 02.00 PM to 11.59 PM, and from 06.00 PM to 11.59 PM over the weekend. The resort area of Raja Ampat indeed offers many places to hang out with a slow and cozy ambiance, and Engineering Coffee is one of them. For those who are on the go, they also provide fresh brewed bottled coffee to bring along.
Another café in Raja Ampat is Waisai Coffee. It is a place where you can find ranges of coffee, refreshing drinks, and snacks. The place does not offer heavy meals as it is only labeled as a café, not a restaurant.
Among the menu are espresso, macchiato, affogato, lattes, mocktails, juice, and smoothies. It was just opened last year and is located in Jalan Fundar Sakela, Waisai. Since it is located near the resort area, it has become the place where the tourists hang out at night to find refreshments.
This one is not necessarily a cafe, but more of a coffee variety from Sorong. Since 1985, Kopi Senang has been a mandatory gift from the city. The area of Sorong is not a coffee producer, and most of the coffee beans from West Papua are an Arabica variety. Meanwhile, Kopi Senang took the best coffee beans from outside of the region to serve easy-to-brew robusta coffee to the customers.
“Senang” in the Indonesian language means “happy”, hoping that drinking the coffee would make everybody feel happy. The store is filled with visitors almost every day. Unfortunately, Kopi Senang only sells packaged coffee, but plan to provide a café for the visitors soon.
Sitting in a coffee shop for hours may not be familiar to the people of West Papua. Yet, the openings of more coffee shops may start new trends that let us enjoy the best of West Papuan coffee in local settings.