Good Coffee Origins – Indonesian Coffee

Coffee came to the Dutch East Indies archipelago within the late 17th century. The legend of coffee itself makes fascinating reading (Kaldi and his dancing goats!), but for Indonesian purposes coffee arrived right here in an organized and much less mythical fashion on VOC (the Dutch East Indies company) trading galleons, via Yemen and the Dutch enclave of Malabar. These 1st coffees introduced had been Arabica, direct descendents of 6 coffee trees the Dutch managed to smuggle out from Yemen and plant within the Botanical gardens in Amsterdam. The trees had been properly suited for the tropical situations located on Java and swiftly thrived and produced cherries. The first plantations were located 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 in addition to in Flores. Coffee, in conjunction with nutmeg, cloves as well as other spices, became the backbone in the VOC financial machine. Infrastructure to obtain crops out of plantation locations led to development of port and later rail and road systems that nevertheless exist right now. Soon after the demise on the VOC the Dutch colonial government took more than lots of on the business activities in Indonesia. At one stage sale of these commodities produced up pretty much 30% of the complete Dutch GDP. Get a lot more details about Candi

In the late 1800’s rust disease hit the coffee crops of Indonesia. The disease was debilitating, wiping out the majority of the Arabica trees in Java, and also within the outer islands. The Dutch colonial government responded by replanting- firstly inside a subspecies referred to as Liberica (which proved to be almost undrinkable) and after that largely inside the extra resistant Robusta selection. Robusta still tends to make up about 90% on the coffee crop grown in Indonesia currently.

You will discover four major sub kinds of Arabica discovered in Indonesia. These sub-varietals are locally called- USDA, Kartiki, Lini-S and ABG-III. Of these the most widely grown are Lini-S and Kartiki. The variations are mostly within the yields around the tree and sometimes within the size from the cherry.

Robusta is really a hardier tree. The beans in the Robusta plant possess a greater degree of caffeine than that found in those from Arabica plants. Robusta is generally used in immediate coffee and has half the chromosomes found in Arabica. Robusta tends to make up the bulk with the coffee exported from Indonesia, nevertheless it may be the regional Arabica’s that make the archipelago well-known.


The coffee beans you see immediately after the roasting process have come a long 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 from the trees. Only 25% of those flowers will go on to be fertilized and generate tiny buds that later grow into coffee beans. The beans take many months to ripen. As soon as they have reached a amount of ripeness where the outer skin turns red, the selecting starts. The majority of our partners hand choose, so the choice process is far far better than the bigger estates that often strip pick using machinery.

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

Normally Government run Estates and small-hold farmers use one of two diverse techniques to process the picked cherries into what’s called “green coffee”. The “dry” method is predominately used in Sumatra and by little hold farmers in Java, Bali and Flores. This method includes drying the beans outdoors beneath the sun. The beans are laid out either on a concrete pad, or on sacking laid out on the side of the road. The process can take many weeks if accomplished adequately. More than this time the beans are raked and turned as typically as required to ensure a universal drying impact is accomplished. After the outer region of your bean begins to fall off, the coffee is ready to have the pulp removed. Usually this really is done by machinery- while some of these mulching machines are nevertheless hand driven! The final product is a green bean, about 1/3 rd in the size of your original cherry.

The second method of drying coffee is the “wet” processing system. Wet processing implies the bean can commence the final preparation stage immediately immediately after being picked. Instead of drying beneath the sun the cherries are processed through a water system. This results in the outer skin softening generating it quick to eliminate. The system performs well though there are actually generally times when the sugar within the beans can ferment, causing the flavor of the beans to be impacted. Most substantial estates in Java use this system because it speeds up processing and typically makes choice of the final green bean substantially less complicated. The high-quality of green bean from wet processing is typically greater.


It truly is estimated that nearly 97% of all coffee in Indonesia is grown by small-holders. The definition of a little holder can be a farmer who grows coffee on a plot that is around 1.2ha in size or smaller. 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 expanding coffee as a primary or possibly a subsidiary crop is conservatively estimated at being about 8 million. The sheer number of growers and also the geographical isolation of exactly where coffee is developing in Indonesia, makes this country one in the most one of a kind collection of origins inside the coffee world.

Indonesian Coffee has usually had a particular location inside the specialty coffee niche. Customers happen to be able to enjoy 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 a whole lot further- bringing coffees from a lot of new, exotic and fascinating developing regions- Bali, North Sulawesi and West Java to name just a handful of. The future for Indonesian producers would be to move away from the historical dependence on Robusta and to bring towards the coffee drinking world these new and fascinating origins.

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