Indonesian Coffee

October 30, 2009


As a new member of the roaste.com site, I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge about Indonesian coffee with all the members here. I have been living here in Indonesia working with farmers throughout Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Flores, Bali and Indonesian Papua for 10 years. The coffee from the Islands of Indonesia is truly exceptional and sadly only very recently has word of Indonesian coffee spread out to specialty coffee roasers the world over.



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Indonesia's main trading partners for coffee are Germany, USA, Italy, Japan and Oceania. Historically most of the indonesian coffee has been of the low price-low quality Robusta variety. Around 85% of all coffee produced is still Robusta, which is used mainly in European Espresso Blends and/or instant coffee. However it is the green gems- the highland Arabica coffee which is making waves in the specialty coffee world these days. With the advent of email and internet based communication, it is even easier for specialty coffee micro roasters to buy direct from farming coops in places like Indonesia. Origins from Aceh (Lake Tawar/Takengon) in Sumatra to Manggarai in Flores are now exporting the world over.



Championing the cause of the small farmer here is one of my passions. My belief is the smaller the origin (or sub-origin) the purer the coffee is going to be. Think of it like wine. An origin such as Marlborough in New Zealand produces a very unique and special Sauvigon Blanc. If Sav Blanc grapes from next door Nelson were added in, the very character of the wine would be changed. Therefore I believe in keeping it small- a belief that the SCAA also has with its Golden Cup auction systems in Central America.



In my next blogs I intend to give specific over views of the regions- Java, Sumatra etc... all produce very good, very different types of Indonesian Coffee.



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