Cherry. Vanilla. Smooth Milk Chocolate

The Eastern Highlands Province is a mighty and rugged terrain with peaks of the Kratke and Bismarck Ranges soaring to 3700 masl, abundant river systems Asaro and Lamari flowing into the Purari, and lush tropical rainforest valleys rolling throughout. Home to a phenomenal number of fauna and flora, plant species here are especially diverse. This rich ecosystem and fertile climate provide the incredible potential for high-quality coffee. Since its introduction in the late 19th century, coffee has always grown well under careful farm management, with little to no fertiliser inputs required. The greatest challenges stifling the progress of specialty have come from the chronic infrastructure shortfalls and economic instability.

For smallholder farmers in very remote villages of Lufa and Okapa, coffee is the cash crop they rely upon for income, growing as few as 20 trees in gardens amongst multitudes of subsistence crops to feed their families. Access to quality- focused equipment and sorting facilities has historically been unattainable for the farmers of these difficult to traverse regions. Instead, the option for a quick and cheap sale to anyone with the means and willing to transport it to a mill has led to diminishing investment in quality systems and further removal of farmers from realising their harvest’s true potential.

Enter Maureen Ken, a local businesswoman with a mission to build confidence and long-term relationships with such rural producers, she established Lass Malo Coffee (LMC) in 2015 to focus on accessibility and quality support in the region. Local led with the prosperity of the remote smallholder farming community at heart, LMC provides a convenient bridge for producers to sell their coffee at a value-added price. The impact of premiums is significant for both the farmers’ livelihoods as well as a vast improvement in quality and consistency across all export grades.

Higher standards demand great care in farm management, harvest and post-harvest practices. Smallholders hand-pick, wash and float cherries to clean and sort perfectly ripe selections. Cherries are hand pulped the same day before going into fermentation tanks for 24-36 hours. Once fermented, coffee is washed with clean water to remove the mucilage and then moved onto raised beds to dry under shade for 3-4 days. Dried parchment is transported free of charge by LMC trucks to their new and expanding dry mill facility in Goroka.

Continuous improvements at LMC include a new factory to house the latest grading systems to further maximise the quality output and return on investment for these hardworking rural communities in 2022. The future for the region is burning ever brighter thanks to the dedicated partnerships and vision of Maureen Ken and her teams at LMC.


Region: Lufa & Okapa, Eastern Highlands

Producer: Collection of farms

Altitude: 1450-2000 masl

Varietal: Typica & Arusha

Processing: Washed

Join Us For Brew  

99 Pinjarra Rd, Mandurah | Mon to Fri 6:00am to 1:30pm, Sat 7:00am to 1:30pm.

Call 0451-022-279 | Email [email protected]

Join Us For Brew

99 Pinjarra Rd, Mandurah
Mon to Fri 6:00am to 1:30pm,
Sat 7:00am to 1:30pm.

Call 0451-022-279 | Email [email protected]