Winning local roasters on top of the world

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CANBERRA-based coffee roaster Niugini Arabica has been awarded two medals at the world’s largest coffee roasters’ competition. This is a sponsored post.

CANBERRA-based coffee roaster Niugini Arabica has been awarded two bronze medals at the Golden Bean awards, the world’s largest coffee roasters’ competition. 

George Levantis, left, with roaster Lea Renard.

The annual competition, attracting 1500 entrants, was held last month in Port Macquarie.

Niugini Arabica, which specialises in beans from PNG, won its awards in the categories of “milk-based latte” and “single-origin espresso”. 

“It is not a surprise that Niugini Arabica won the award for milk-based latte because a lot of hard work went into perfecting a specialised roasting technique to create a roasted bean that best compliments milk,” says marketing manager George Levantis.

“It is usual for roasters to try and perfect the flavour of espresso coffee, but by far the majority of coffee drinkers combine their coffee either with milk or milk alternatives such as soy milk or almond milk”. 

Nevertheless, Niugini Arabica won an award in the single origin espresso category. 

George says the awards are a vindication of the company’s “fine-quality” philosophy, which is about selecting the most excellent beans and roasting them in the best way to produce the finest product. 

He says the company’s raw, green beans are selected exclusively from the Eastern Highlands of PNG and Niugini Arabica only buys certified organic beans. 

“This is important for two reasons: coffee grown organically tastes better and certified organic is the most ethical way to buy beans,” says George.

“Although there is much that is trumpeted about ‘fair trade’ or ‘Rainforest Alliance’, farmers in PNG get a far better outcome when they sell their beans as ‘certified organic’.” 

Niugini Arabica is predominantly a wholesale business, but it doesn’t normally supply cafes. George says its focus is selling beans directly to the public through retail outlets across Canberra as well as from its shopfront in Duffy. 

“The wholesale market for providing coffee to cafes is saturated and dominated by the big players who sell their products by subsidising espresso machines,’’ said George. 

“This award will help us to instead focus our attention on the space in the market that demands high-quality, fine products.”

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