Jayapura, Jubi – Coffee entrepreneur Pieter Tan has opened a barista school for the children of coffee farmers in Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency.
“I am prioritizing the courses for the children of coffee farmers in Wamena. For them, it’s free and I have arranged the accommodation for them. So, only those who’ve been selected could be trained here,” he said in Jayapura on Sunday (21/8/2016).
He explained farmers in Wamena are currently in their fifties. So, he founded the school to arouse among young people the desire to become the coffee farmer. “I think if they were retired, then the young people are more interested to become civil servants or employees. Few want to be farmers,” he said.
“My goal with this school is to attract the young people from Wamena to be interested and learn about coffee, and find a lot of new things and have fun, and that they can make money from the coffee,” he added.
He said that the course is not running yet because in Wamena, they just finished the Baliem Valley Festival. “I am still not opening the registration because still waiting the boys from Wamena. I will open a class for the start; there would be six students. We will teach more information about coffee and how to extract it, either with machine or manually,” he said.
He said he would strictly select those who will go to his school, as it needs quite huge investment. “Frankly, what I’ve prepared is not cheap, but it’s all free. So I only want to train those who are really serious to know about coffee. They will learn for about a month and can practice their knowledge directly at Pit’s Corner,” said Tan.
According to him until now it’s difficult to find baristas in Papua, but he looked it as an opportunity to empower the indigenous Papuans. “If they have already met the standard, I will give recommendation to the hotels that have become our partner. Barista in Papua is still limited, most hotels have problem with it,” he said.
Wamena Coffee Production
The global demand for Wamena coffee is quite high, said Pieter Tan, who was born in Jayapura and owner of Kopi Garuda Jayapura.
“From overseas they ask for large quantities,” he said. He also said until know the production of Wamena coffee does not meet the market demand at both domestic and international market.
“I sell Papua coffee locally, even in Indonesia it’s not enough, so I keep prioritizing to supply the market in Indoensia. I will send it to overseas if there were overstocks,” he said. According to him it’s because the coffee plantation in Wamena is still applying the communal system, while the international buyers require a contract. With the limited production, he admitted not dare for taking the contract.
But Pieter said there is now an increase of total production of Wamena coffee, but he assumed it would be significantly increased in the couple next years.
“Total production in Papua is fluctuating. It’s quite good this year, but the harvesting is not completed yet, so we cannot get the fixed figures. Last year the production wasn’t up to 40 tones. Government is quite supportive by providing the technical assistance to the coffee farmers in Wamena. Now the plantation keeps ongoing, we expect the production could be improved within four to five years,” he said. (*/rom)