Our specialty south pacific coffee is a rare find. Grown at 19.5 degrees south of the equator in rich fertile soils under the shadow of an active volcano - mt Yasur. The 100% Arabica coffee is sustainably grown on about 600 small family owned plots, it is hand picked when ripe, fully washed and sun dried before being hulled, graded and reselected making sure only the best quality beans make it into your cup. The coffee has notes of dried fruit and cereal with a round body and malt finish, medium sweetness and pleasing acidity.
In the local language Talao means Ours. It is a farmer lead co-op that inspires ownership over the land, production and of this quality coffee. Talao processes and markets its coffee through Talao Enterprise - a not-for-profit entity that trains and co-ordinates with farmers to sell their coffee. Farmers benefit through this arrangement by getting the technical, logistical and administrative support that they need, as well as upfront payment for their coffee.
Pusin is from a rural village in Tanna, Vanuatu. Like many of the people on Tanna, Pusin lives of the land and the food that he grows. Agriculture is in his blood and has always been central to Tanna history, culture, livelihoods. In addition to the traditional crops like taro, manioc, kava and banana Pusin grows coffee – and is very good at it! He is part of Talao Coffee. This year Pusin has produced about 1000kgs, this is his biggest harvest since cyclone Pam which nearly destroyed the coffee industry on Tanna in 2015. Pusin grows coffee to support his 8 children through school, he wants them to be able to have some work for themselves as they grow up, formal employment opportunities in Tanna are few and far between. In Vanuatu for every 10 new entrants to the job market only four new positions are created – Pusin sees coffee as a way of providing a future for his kids – and hopes that one day it will pay off and they will be able to provide for him in his old age. Pusin is a self-starter, he didn’t know much about coffee but was interested to give it a try, he heard that local NGO Nasi Tuan was running a coffee training workshop so he went along and listened. He left the workshop excited about what he heard that he couldn’t sleep that night. The next day he went and got himself some seedlings which he took back to his village and planted. Pusin laughs as he compares coffee to his children “Coffee is like a child, when you look after it well it will grow up and look after you!”, and like his children Pusin remembers his coffee’s birthday – He first planted it in Feb 2012, and had his first harvest in 2014. Pusin likes coffee because while it takes some effort to initially plant he can harvest it every year- giving him a fitting return for his hard work.