Good Coffee Origins - Indonesian Coffee

Good Coffee Origins - Indonesian Coffee

Coffee came to the Dutch East Indies archipelago within the late 17th century. The legend of coffee itself tends to make fascinating reading (Kaldi and his dancing goats!), but for Indonesian purposes coffee arrived here in an organized and less mythical fashion on VOC (the Dutch East Indies company) trading galleons, by way of Yemen and the Dutch enclave of Malabar. These initially coffees introduced were Arabica, direct descendents of 6 coffee trees the Dutch managed to smuggle out from Yemen and plant inside the Botanical gardens in Amsterdam. The trees have been properly suited to the tropical conditions discovered on Java and speedily thrived and made cherries. The first plantations had been situated close to Batavia (modern day Jakarta). Later plantations have been established in Sulawesi, Maluku and Sumatra. Independently Colonial rivals Portugal planted Arabica in East and West Timor along with in Flores. Coffee, in addition to nutmeg, cloves and other spices, became the backbone in the VOC economic machine. Infrastructure to obtain crops out of plantation areas led to development of port and later rail and road systems that nonetheless exist nowadays. Immediately after the demise of your VOC the Dutch colonial government took over a lot of from the business activities in Indonesia. At one stage sale of these commodities made up almost 30% in the whole Dutch GDP. Get a lot more facts about Kopi Kekinian

Within the late 1800's rust illness hit the coffee crops of Indonesia. The illness was debilitating, wiping out a lot of the Arabica trees in Java, along with within the outer islands. The Dutch colonial government responded by replanting- firstly in a subspecies referred to as Liberica (which proved to become practically undrinkable) and then mostly within the a lot more resistant Robusta selection. Robusta still makes up about 90% in the coffee crop grown in Indonesia right now.

There are four primary sub varieties of Arabica discovered in Indonesia. These sub-varietals are locally called- USDA, Kartiki, Lini-S and ABG-III. Of those by far the most extensively grown are Lini-S and Kartiki. The variations are mostly within the yields around the tree and at times in the size on the cherry.

Robusta is actually a hardier tree. The beans in the Robusta plant have a larger degree of caffeine than that located in those from Arabica plants. Robusta is normally used in instant coffee and has half the chromosomes discovered in Arabica. Robusta makes up the bulk of your coffee exported from Indonesia, but it would be the regional Arabica's that make the archipelago renowned.


The coffee beans you see just after the roasting process have come a extended way from exactly where they began, as "cherries" on Arabica plants. Coffee trees flower twice a year, the flowers getting fragrant, white bunches that hang in the trees. Only 25% of these flowers will go on to be fertilized and create tiny buds that later develop into coffee beans. The beans take various months to ripen. Once they've reached a level of ripeness where the outer skin turns red, the selecting starts. The majority of our partners hand choose, so the selection process is far much better than the bigger estates that usually strip choose using machinery.

Arabica trees can develop as much as 30 foot tall, if not pruned. Most farmers try and retain their trees to around 8 foot or shorter, so the cherries can effortlessly be reached for the duration of choosing. The seasons for picking differ across the archipelago. In Sumatra the season runs from November to January, in Java from early June through to September.

Generally Government run Estates and small-hold farmers use one of two different methods to process the picked cherries into what is called "green coffee". The "dry" method is predominately used in Sumatra and by modest hold farmers in Java, Bali and Flores. This method involves drying the beans outside below the sun. The beans are laid out either on a concrete pad, or on sacking laid out on the side from the road. The process can take quite a few weeks if accomplished adequately. More than this time the beans are raked and turned as frequently as needed to ensure a universal drying impact is achieved. After the outer location with the bean starts to fall off, the coffee is prepared to have the pulp removed. Normally this is done by machinery- even though some of these mulching machines are nonetheless hand driven! The final product is usually a green bean, about 1/3 rd of your size on the original cherry.

The second method of drying coffee will be the "wet" processing system. Wet processing suggests the bean can start the final preparation stage straight away immediately after getting picked. Instead of drying below the sun the cherries are processed via a water system. This results in the outer skin softening creating it uncomplicated to eliminate. The system operates well although you will find normally occasions when the sugar inside the beans can ferment, causing the flavor from the beans to become affected. Most substantial estates in Java use this system as it speeds up processing and usually tends to make selection of the final green bean significantly a lot easier. The good quality of green bean from wet processing is frequently larger.


It really is estimated that nearly 97% of all coffee in Indonesia is grown by small-holders. The definition of a smaller holder is actually a farmer who grows coffee on a plot which is around 1.2ha in size or smaller sized. This really is in sharp contrast to coffee getting grow in Central and South America, where most coffee grown is on Fincas (Estates). The number of farmers increasing coffee as a major or perhaps a subsidiary crop is conservatively estimated at getting around 8 million. The sheer number of growers and the geographical isolation of where coffee is developing in Indonesia, tends to make this country one with the most unique collection of origins inside the coffee world.

Indonesian Coffee has constantly had a specific location within the specialty coffee niche. Buyers have already been able to take pleasure in Kayu Mas Estate Java, Mandehling, Gayo Mountain Arabica and Highlands Toraja Arabica for a lot of years. The new wave of Indonesian Specialty Coffee goes lots further- bringing coffees from quite a few new, exotic and thrilling increasing regions- Bali, North Sulawesi and West Java to name just some. The future for Indonesian producers will be to move away in the historical dependence on Robusta and to bring towards the coffee drinking world these new and fascinating origins.