Preserving Indonesia’s Rich Coffee Culture

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Indonesian Coffee Culture

Indonesia is the world’s fourth-largest producer of coffee after Brazil, Vietnam, and Colombia, and it exports more than it consumes. The land is also known as the producer of Java and some of our coffee favorites.

Indonesian coffee has complex, syrupy, low acidity and typically extremely dense which makes them ideal for roasting on the darker side. Indonesia has a unique traditional method known as “giling basah”. This semi-washed method is known commonly as wet-hulling and nearly all the coffee in the region are processed in this manner. In short, the coffee cherry is allowed to dry on the bean for a short time before being washed and removed, imparting some of the flavors of the pulp and fruit to the bean.

As time goes by big changes are brewing in the country’s coffee industry, as demand from a rising middle-class fuels entrepreneurship and connoisseurship.

This big changes in Indonesia’s coffee industry can be seen at places like the Anomali Coffee shop in South Jakarta. They are known for specializing single-source coffees from around the Indonesian archipelago, founded by Irvan Helmi.

Anomali sells coffees from nine single origins at a time, and they already sourced about 100 single origins since founding the company.

According to Irvan Indonesian coffees are known for their “earthiness” and body. They often drink their coffee black, and they don’t need milk, creamer, or any syrup to make their coffee standout from the rest.

But Irvan explains that this has been changing in recent years, as demand from Indonesia’s growing middle class has taken off, and improved logistics have helped build a thriving, archipelago-wide market.

Now some Indonesia’s cafe is slowly acknowledging imports of knowledge from other countries. Just like the contribution of Starbucks to the Indonesian market which helps to penetrate new and remote cities and give local consumers an introduction to authentic espressos, cappuccinos and the like.

Though Indonesia is slowly acknowledging contributions, but you can’t easily change the coffee culture of the city where they pride themselves having high-quality single origin coffee and that makes them very proud of it.

With Indonesia’s rich variety of beans and a long history of cultivation, they are building a coffee culture — and a pride in it — that is truly homegrown.

Originally Published by npr.org 

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