The land of the rising sun is such a treasure chest filled with hidden gems and precious gold. So many things are mindbogglingly priceless and beautiful, yet, more are still unveiled or unexplored. If you are a chocolate lover, you may need to reconsider your choc-fanatic-meter if you’re still trying to figure out what kerafat cocoa from Papua is. This delicious goodness is one you should taste.
Papua is not well known for its chocolate. Little do people know that it is the producer of one of the best premium cocoa. The most famous cocoa from Papua is kerafat. It is praised for its delicious and smooth intensity chocolate, atypical of Papuan beans that are smokey in flavor due to a more traditional drying process which is being roasted over fires. Kerafat cocoa from Papua is instead delightfully smooth texture mixed with notes of citrus, pear and dried fruits.
Kerafat cocoa from Papua is known as the Dutch cocoa, due to its history. It was developed during the Dutch colonization and the name kerafat it self was taken from one of the four superior cocoa varieties brought from Papua New Guinea on 1950 to be developed in Papua-Indonesia. In Papua, this variety is grown in several villages, among those villages was Sabeyab Besar village, Kemtuk District, Jayapura Regency, with Srukumani farmer group. Srukumani farmer group has been assisted and guided by WWF since 2012.
Kerafat cocoa is a sustainable cultivation cocoa variety that requires the active participation from the women. It is cultivated inside the forests owned by the native people, with natural ways, without using chemical fertilizer and pesticides. The selling price of the dried cocoa is also more expensive than other cocoa varieties. Dutch cocoa or kerafat cocoa from Papua do possess several superior characters, whether from size, flavor and endurance against diseases and pests.
Stefanus Yaru (23 years old) is one of the local farmers from Srukumani farmer group who grows Theobroma cacao L or the kerafa/dutch cocoa in his garden. Stefanus also testifies on the superiority of kerafat cocoa from Papua. He compares it with cocoa variety from Jember, Java, that was donated from Cocoa National Movement Program on 2006. According to him the cocoa variety from Jember is more vulnerable to diseases, bears less fruit and the size of the fruit is smaller than kerafat cocoa from Papua. He compares it to kerafat cocoa which he only grows in his backyard without needing a lot of treatments. It can strive without any hassle. He said he just have to throw the beans on the soil and it will grow, while cocoa from Jember need to be treated since very early on. Moreover, he said he needs 15 cocoa fruits to get 1 kg of cocoa while kerafat cocoa only needs 8-10 fruits.
Stefanus’s statement is also confirmed by WWF, from its adaptability to local farmers’ cultivation pattern, bigger fruit size, more beans, and stronger resistance against diseases and pests. Based on visual observation alone, the size of kerafat kokoa is more or less 3 cm, it weighs more than 1 gram, per fruit has around 50 beans and the size of the fruit is more than 23 cm, the fruit layer is also thicker. The last characteristic is what makes kerafat cocoa more resistant to diseases and pests.
With these excellent qualities, kerafat cocoa has become the darling of a chocolate producer from Switzerland, Original Beans, since 2012. As we all know, Switzerland is famous as the producer of the finest chocolate in the world. The beans selection would also be top notch. According to Original Beans, kerafat cocoa has many excellent characters. One of them is the weight of per one hundred beans, whi9ch is 122.50 grams. It is a world quality standard that does not surpass 130 grams. Furthermore, the acidity level of kerafat cocoa from Papua is 5.15 – 6.10 percent. This level is within the standard of good quality cocoa pH which is around 6 – 7 percent. Last but not least, the water level of kerafat cocoa from Papua is 5.7 – 6.7 percent which is eligible for international quality which is not more than 8 percent. This makes kerafat cocoa from Papua, one of the hidden gems of Papua.