Many places in Papua have been producing many kinds of coffee. It grows organically and pesticide free in the high altitude area. One of the famous Papuan coffees with a strong flavor is the Amungme coffee that is cultivated by the Amungme tribe.
The Amungme Tribe
The Amungme tribe is also known as Amui, Hamung, Amungm, Amuy, Damal or Uhunduni. Amungme is the combination of two words, “Amung” means first and “Mee” means human. Hence, it literally means the First Human.
They inhabit large valleys in Mimika region and Puncak Jaya region among high mountains such as Tsiga valley, Hoeya valley, and Noema valley and some other small valleys such as Bella, Alama, Aroanop, and Wa. Reputedly, they originally came from Baliem valley.
Generally, they make their living by farming and hunting. They farm on the highlands and they call their land Amungsa. Amungsa stands for two words, “Amung” and ‘Sa”. “Amung” means expanse, and “Sa” means territory. Thus, it means the territorial expanse of the Amungme tribe. They believe that Amungsa is a sacred land.
The livelihood of the Amungme tribe is mainly farming. They plant coffee on the high hills of Mimika region, that is particularly cultivated in Hoea village, Aroanop village, Opitawak village and Tsiga village in Tembagapura district.
Since 1998, there are about 16 thousand coffee trees in a 29 hectare area. As the method of the farming is still traditional, the coffee grows organically and fertilized with nitrogenous crops and natural materials from the forest such as compost and mulch. It is also planted side by side with other crops in cropping and multilevel systems.
This coffee is produced about 2.8 Ton per year. The total Amungme farmer is around 104 with income in the amount of 3-4 million Rupiah per month. The coffee that they produce is not for local consumption only but also for other areas in Papua. The people of Amungme do all the process manually starting from the harvest up to the parchment drying. After that, the milling process will be done in Timika.
These days, the Amungme Coffee is not only popular in Papua, but it has already expanded its popularity outside of Papua. Since in Indonesia there are many small cafes that serve all kinds of coffee with a passionate culture of coffee enthusiasts, more and more people have started to recognize Papuan coffee. For example, Klinik Kopi, a small cafe in Yogyakarta that serves a wide selection of Arabica single origin from around Indonesia, where they serve ready to drink Amungme Gold Coffe only and does not sell it in packs.
Amungme coffee is one of the favorite coffees from Papua besides Wamena coffee. Its popularity has made a famous franchise brand interested to use Amungme Coffee for their product. Nevertheless, the production of this unique coffee is very limited. Since the area is difficult to reach and no landline is available. They need to take the beans from the mountains with a helicopter during harvest time.
The characteristics of Amungme Gold Coffee is full-body and has a light acidity. It has a sweet aroma of mocha flavor with no after taste. The production of Amungme coffee can reach up to 400 packs of 250 gram per pack, priced for 50 thousand Rupiah per pack. The price varies when its sold outside the farmer union shop. Since the harvest requires a helicopter, then it might be one of the most expensive coffee in the world.