Select Page

Coffee came for 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 right here in an organized and less mythical fashion on VOC (the Dutch East Indies company) trading galleons, by means of Yemen and the Dutch enclave of Malabar. These very first coffees introduced were Arabica, direct descendents of 6 coffee trees the Dutch managed to smuggle out from Yemen and plant in the Botanical gardens in Amsterdam. The trees were well suited to the tropical circumstances identified on Java and swiftly thrived and made cherries. The very first plantations have been 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 as well as in Flores. Coffee, together with nutmeg, cloves as well as other spices, became the backbone with the VOC financial machine. Infrastructure to have crops out of plantation places led to development of port and later rail and road systems that still exist nowadays. Right after the demise with the VOC the Dutch colonial government took over many in the business activities in Indonesia. At one stage sale of these commodities produced up virtually 30% in the complete Dutch GDP. Get additional information about Kopi Indonesia

Within the late 1800’s rust illness hit the coffee crops of Indonesia. The illness was debilitating, wiping out many of the Arabica trees in Java, and also in the outer islands. The Dutch colonial government responded by replanting- firstly in a subspecies named Liberica (which proved to become nearly undrinkable) and after that mainly within the a lot more resistant Robusta wide variety. Robusta nonetheless tends to make up around 90% from the coffee crop grown in Indonesia today.

There are actually four most important sub varieties of Arabica discovered in Indonesia. These sub-varietals are locally called- USDA, Kartiki, Lini-S and ABG-III. Of these essentially the most extensively grown are Lini-S and Kartiki. The variations are mainly in the yields on the tree and from time to time in the size in the cherry.

Robusta is a hardier tree. The beans in the Robusta plant possess a higher amount of caffeine than that discovered in those from Arabica plants. Robusta is typically used in immediate coffee and has half the chromosomes located in Arabica. Robusta makes up the bulk of the coffee exported from Indonesia, nevertheless it may be the regional Arabica’s that make the archipelago renowned.


The coffee beans you see soon after the roasting process have come a extended way from exactly where they started, 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 become fertilized and create little buds that later develop into coffee beans. The beans take several months to ripen. As soon as they’ve reached a level of ripeness exactly where the outer skin turns red, the choosing begins. The majority of our partners hand choose, so the choice process is far better than the larger estates that usually strip pick using machinery.

Arabica trees can grow up to 30 foot tall, if not pruned. Most farmers try and hold their trees to around 8 foot or shorter, so the cherries can effortlessly be reached during picking. The seasons for selecting vary across the archipelago. In Sumatra the season runs from November to January, in Java from early June by way of to September.

Frequently Government run Estates and small-hold farmers use one of two distinctive procedures to process the picked cherries into what is referred to as “green coffee”. The “dry” method is predominately used in Sumatra and by modest hold farmers in Java, Bali and Flores. This method entails drying the beans outside beneath the sun. The beans are laid out either on a concrete pad, or on sacking laid out around the side with the road. The process can take numerous weeks if performed appropriately. Over this time the beans are raked and turned as usually as needed to make sure a universal drying impact is achieved. After the outer area from the bean begins to fall off, the coffee is ready to have the pulp removed. Generally that is done by machinery- while a few of these mulching machines are nevertheless hand driven! The final product is actually a green bean, about 1/3 rd of the size of the original cherry.

The second method of drying coffee will be the “wet” processing system. Wet processing means the bean can commence the final preparation stage instantly immediately after getting picked. As opposed to drying under the sun the cherries are processed by way of a water system. This leads to the outer skin softening making it straightforward to remove. The system operates effectively despite the fact that there are actually generally times when the sugar within the beans can ferment, causing the flavor on the beans to become impacted. Most big estates in Java use this system as it speeds up processing and normally makes choice of the final green bean much easier. The quality of green bean from wet processing is commonly greater.


It can be estimated that almost 97% of all coffee in Indonesia is grown by small-holders. The definition of a tiny holder is usually a farmer who grows coffee on a plot that is definitely around 1.2ha in size or smaller sized. This really is in sharp contrast to coffee getting develop in Central and South America, exactly where most coffee grown is on Fincas (Estates). The number of farmers growing coffee as a key or even a subsidiary crop is conservatively estimated at becoming about 8 million. The sheer number of growers along with the geographical isolation of where coffee is developing in Indonesia, tends to make this nation one of the most distinctive collection of origins inside the coffee world.

Indonesian Coffee has constantly had a unique place inside the specialty coffee niche. Buyers have been in a position 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 fascinating developing regions- Bali, North Sulawesi and West Java to name just a couple of. The future for Indonesian producers is always to move away from the historical dependence on Robusta and to bring to the coffee drinking world these new and fascinating origins.