The World’s Tiniest Coffee Islands
- The Kingdom of Tonga is an island nation in the South Pacific, including 176 islands belonging to Polynesia.
- In 1973, Haniteli Fa`anunus, Director of the Research Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, was to look after the growth of exportable agricultural products.
- With the help of the French different varieties were within the next five years.
- Finally, Caturra was planted in Vaini on the main island of Tongatapu.
- The resulting coffee plantation was in royal possession, the Royal Tongan Coffee Company.
- At the end of the 20th century the Royal Tongan Coffee Company was privatized.
- Corruption led to bankruptcy after a few years already.
- Harry Waalkens QC, an Auckland based lawyer founded Kingdom Koffie 26 years ago.
- Jo Kupu was employed by the bank as a plantation worker from a 6 hectare monoculture farm and managed the established plantation for around 8 years.
- Derek Leonard owns and operates it for the past 7 years.
- Several cafés throughout Tonga are supplied by Kingdom Koffie.
- Emeline Afeaki-Mafileó and her husband Alipate bought the Royal Tongan Coffee Company a few years ago.
- They founded Tupu’anga Coffee, which is 100% organic.
- The annual harvest of 8 tons gives around 60 people work.
- A big part of the revenue go to educational opportunities for young people.
- Even if the Tonga coffee is not relevant for worldwide production, it is ranked 6th in the world with a harvest yield of 15,736 hectogramm per hectare.
- In the taste, the coffee is very strong, with a fine acidity and a good body.
- Its distinctive character gets the coffees by cultivation near the sea.
Since coffee has no long history in the country, there is no distinctive coffee culture. But the French influence is probably responsible for the use of the French press 😉
image rights: http://www.madeintonga.com/tupuanga
Kingdom Koffie was planted out by Harry Waalkens QC an Auckland based lawyer. Jo Kupu was one of many people who managed the established plantation for around 8 years. The plantation is now 26 years old and I have owned and operated it for the past 7 years.
Thanks Derek for helping me correcting some facts! Much apprechiated.