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Indonesian Coffee For Coffee Lovers

June 26th, 2009 by

Indonesia is not only known for its endless list of tourist attractions.  My stay in Indonesia has also been made memorable by its wonderful people, delectable Indonesia cuisines and nice hotels like the Ascott Jakarta Hotel.  Aside from all these lovely things, I especially enjoyed the different kinds of coffee that I got to savor.

Brewed Coffee

How can I ever resist coffee?  I am a certified coffee addict and it really took quite an effort on my side to limit my coffee intake to just two cups in one day (there were days when I can finish up to five cups!).  So when I found myself in Indonesia, I promised myself that I will try as many kinds of coffee as I can while in Asia’s “coffee heaven.”  Indonesia is actually the third largest producing region in the world!

Coffee beans have their own origins and possess different characteristics that they got depending on how these beans are processed, where the beans were grown and the weather conditions that beans have to face.  In the case of Indonesia, the major places where coffee is grown include Sulawesi, Sumatra, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, and Java.  Unfortunately, only a very small region grows Arabica coffee beans which are most preferred kind.   In terms of percentage, only 10% of the harvest is Arabica Coffee.  Even if this is the case, it is known that Arabica coffee beans that are grown in Indonesia are the best.  These beans are priced high for the rich flavor, gentle acidity, and full taste among others.

Let us first take a look at the coffee growing region of Java, which can be found in the eastern part of Jakarta.  History has it that coffee producing trees were brought to Java by the early Dutch explorers.  These days, about 80% of the coffee industry in Java is strictly managed by the government.  Coffee that is found in Java is described as wet processed coffee and is called Estate Java. Wet processing simply means that the fruit pulp is washed from the outside of the coffee bean and not left to dry before being processed.  This coffee has a more stable taste, more acidic, has a quicker finish than the coffee beans that were grown in nearby Sumatra or Sulawesi.  Java coffee is combined with another kind of coffee in order to make the famous blend of Mocha Java.  Older coffee Java that are kept in for more than a year in warehouses are branded as Old Java Coffee.  In the case of Old Java Coffee, storing the coffee beans for quite a while makes the coffee taste a bit sweeter and less acidic.

Coffee Beans

Sulawesi, or what used to be called Celebes, is another area in Indonesia that is known for growing some of the best kind of coffee.    Coffee here is called Celebes Coffee and is said to be quite similar to the beans that are found in Sumatra but are more expensive.   They are priced higher because of their high demand in Japan.  The coffee that is best associated with Sulawesi would have to be Celebes Toraja.  The beans are cultivated at the mountainous central part of the island and undergo a dry processing method.  The dry method means that the fresh fruit pulp is allowed to dry first before being removed from the surface of the coffee bean.   Celebes or Sulawesi coffee is characterized by a fine combination of earthiness, sweetness with low acidity.

As mentioned earlier, coffee is also grown in Sumatra and its early beginnings trace back to the 1700s.  The Mandheling and the Ankola coffee, which are considered as two of the world’s best coffees, are grown in Sumatra.  Just like in Sulawesi, coffee beans are processed using the dry method and the best ones can be found towards West Central Sumatra in an area near the Pandang Port.  Coffee found in Sumatra is roasted medium – dark up to dark.  I personally prefer the medium – dark roast where I believe I can enjoy the best flavors from the coffee beans.  But in Sumatra, the dark roast is the most common.   To summarize, Sumatran coffee has a full body, rich flavor and alluring aroma that possess a tinge of spice.

East Timor is another coffee producing region and the cultivation of coffee beans is considered the most important industry here.  Some coffee variants in East Timor can also be traced back to as early as the 16th or 17th century.  Coffee here is mostly organic coffee and processed using the wet method.  East Timor coffee is characterized by a rich, earthy flavor and mild acidity.

Indonesian Coffee Festival

So if you are a coffee lover like me, make sure that you try all these wonderful coffee blends on your next visit to Indonesia.  Take time to stop for a while, order a cup, savor the aroma, and take a heavenly sip.

3 Responses to “Indonesian Coffee For Coffee Lovers”

  1. Caroline@SippinDrinks Says:

    I love all flavors of coffee…Never had any from Indonesia… what do most people like over there?

  2. How To Make Coffee - Finding Best Coffee Maker For You Says:

    How To Make Coffee – Finding Best Coffee Maker For You…

    Sean and I were watching Crossroads the other night, it was Jimmy Buffet and the Zac Brown Band. During one of the songs there is military drumming used to incredible effect. I literally said,“ Oh, man, that kind of drumming gets me every time. It’ s l…

  3. Yungsik, Mok Says:

    I’ve never been Indonesia yet, but I’m crazy about Indonesian coffee.
    So I’d like to know about everything of coffee from Indonesia.
    Can I have infomations like products, costs and etc,?
    And Can I buy some with oversea orders?

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