The Pacific #coffee islands group of Tonga has been hit with a massive humanitarian emergency after a terrifying eruption of the underwater volcano Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai over the weekend. The explosion of the eruption was so big it could be heard over 700 km away in Fiji and caused damaged to boats and shores in locations as remote as Japan, New Zealand and Peru, where massive waved caused the death of two people. Ash, gas and steam was sent over 20 kilometers high into the air and prevented surveillance flights from New Zealand and Australia to be dispatched until over 48 hours later, but Monday Jan. 17, 2022, local time, the first aircraft were underway to make an initial damage account. Scientists say the Hunga Ha’apai volcano continues to be very active and extremely dangerous and even though tsunami warnings have been lifted a “cluster of eruptions” is expected to continue in next days. Damage is expected to be “catastrophic” and although no death toll has yet been reported, communications have been cut off for almost all outer lying islands and villages in Tonga, and details of the conditions of the population of some 100,000 people are scarce. The fact that waves were so extreme that two people were killed as far away as Peru is a grave indicator of the potential for the death toll to rise. Several people have been reported missing. While we are still waiting for more details there is zero doubt that the needs for not only immediate humanitarian assistance but also help toward reconstruction and recovery of Tonga will be great. Tonga’s Olympic flag bearer Pita Taufatofua has launched a Gofundme campaign to raise funds for relief efforts and SpillingTheBeans wholeheartedly call for all our friends in the extended global coffee family to help with donations. No donation is too small to help, for more details and to donate, please see;
Donations can also be made to the International Red Cross via; https://www.ifrc.org/press-release/tonga-volcanic-eruption-and-tsunami-cuts-country-world
Prayers to the people of Tonga!! For more details and ongoing coverage follow at; https://twitter.com/SpillingTheBean
Over 90 countries and island nations are home to coffee and one of the many fascinating little known facts in coffee is that over 20 of those are tiny little islands spread out across the great seas. From the Caribbean to the Indian Ocean, across the Atlantic to the South Pacific, these tiny islands are rarely, if ever, mentioned in international coffee statistics because of the tiny volume produced. But even is total annual output from these islands in most cases only reach a container or two, coffee production continues to be as important in socio-economic terms, with up to 25 percent of the local population depending on coffee growing for their daily survival.
Our Coffee of The Day is one of these coffees and today we have the honor of introducing Royal Tonga from the South Pacific to the most picky and adventurous of all you coffee lovers out there. And this blend from UK-based Sea Island Coffee importers and roasters is a real treat for coffee lovers; with an amazing aroma, balanced acidity and full body the Royal Tonga leaves a long-lasting after taste across the palette with a wonderful mouth feel. Sea Island’s cupper describe the Tonga coffee as a cup with a “distinctive bold flavor” with which we can only agree and we encourage true coffee snobs to try this coffee and send us your comments 🙂
Picked straight from SpillingTheBeans’ Rare Coffee Collection of beans from “the World’s Tiniest Coffee Islands” this coffee comes to the market thanks to the London-based Sea Island Coffee, one of SpillingTheBeans’ favourite companies. Sea Island Coffee has spent years going to the extremes of extremes in order to bring the rare coffees of these tiny and remote islands to the market. By doing so the company has created a lifeline for these islands’ tiny small holder coffee growers while at the same time contributed greatly in preserving coffee history while bringing some outstanding and otherwise unknown coffees to the market. SpillingTheBeans applaud this commitment to coffee quality from seed to cup.
To read more about this AMAZING and unique coffee from Tonga, the truly fascinating history of this Polynesian island nation and see more pictures, please check out Sea Island’s special page dedicated to this coffee: http://www.seaislandcoffee.com/browse-estates/kingdom-of-tonga-royal-coffee.html
Happy Coffee Drinking
–Polynesian culture in Tonga by K. Sean Sullivan’s Art Blog
–coffee growing in the Kingdom of Tonga by Blacksmithcoffee.com
I just got to try Tonga coffee as my brother is a sailor wandering around the South Pacific. My favorite is a blend of Sumatra, Ethiopian Limu, and Italian Espresso. First, I tried the Tonga by itself and found it to be nicely heavy bodied with a smooth feel (much like Sumatra) but with a tiny kick to it (much like Espresso), so I enjoyed it very much. I really didn’t know about these small island coffees and was sure it was imported there, but now I know better.
Wuahm how fantastic, thanks so much for sharing this experience LH, much appreciate your comment 🙂 Maja
How exciting, thanks so much for your comment LH and for sharing your experience!
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