Our Ulya coffees come from a combination of lots tendered by the 178-hectare Ulya plantation as well as several hundred local smallholder farmers. From these deliveries, daylots are blended together by quality and cup at the Ulya mill, located in the heart of Waghi Valley, in Papua New Guinea’s Western Highlands. The Ulya estate itself was established in the 1930s by the Lay family, Australians who had relocated to Papua New Guinea and were part of the colonial efforts to introduce coffee as a cash crop to the country. Originally the estate was closer to 800 hectares of land, but after Papua New Guinea achieved independence from Australia, large sections of land were given to indigenous New Guineans as part of redistribution. Therein lies some of the confusion: Ulya is the name of the region, the farm, and the shared wet mill.
High altitude and cool temperatures make this an ideal location for high-quality coffee. The plantation and the local smallholders both sell cherry directly to the mill for processing, which allows for greater quality control and selection. The mill has expanded its milling capacity relatively recently, with a wet-milling line and a waste-water processing plant.
At the Ulya mill, coffees are purchased and sorted in cherry, depulped, fermented for 24 hours in tanks without water, then dried on tarpaulins for three to six days. Coffee is sent to the Kagamuga dry mill in Mount Hagen for hulling and final sorting for export.