From Bali Kintamani to Mandheling, there’s much to explore and savour in the world of Indonesian coffee. And the culture behind Indonesia’s coffees is much like the colours on an artist’s palette: each region has single-origin coffees that exhibit vibrant and distinctive tasting notes.
Indonesia has a storied love affair with coffee, which dates back to the early Dutch colonial period in the late 1600s and early 1700s. The Dutch imported coffee seedlings and established plantations throughout the major islands.
Although Indonesia is today one of the world’s largest coffee producers, the archipelago nation gets little recognition for its high-quality Arabica coffees. Its location along the Ring of Fire gives Indonesia ideal micro-climate conditions to cultivate complex, specialty Arabica coffees on its fertile mountain and volcanic slopes.
If you love coffee, continue reading to get acquainted with some of Indonesia’s most popular varieties.
Bali Kintamani coffee is typically grown in the fertile volcanic soil of Mount Batur, in the island’s central Kintamani region. The volcanic activity in Kintamani also gives rise to natural spas and hot springs that are popular with locals.
Bali’s specialty coffee beans are wet-processed, and are known for their characteristically bright, clean taste with elevated fruity notes.
We recommend JJ Royal Coffee Bali Arabica, which exhibits floral and citrusy flavors with hints of dark chocolate covered in orange peel. When made into a latte, the coffee takes on the mellow profile of a smooth cocoa.
Toraja, South Sulawesi
Toraja coffee grows in the forested highlands of South Sulawesi, where indigenous Torajans are known for their beautiful traditional houses (Tongkonan) and animistic beliefs (Aluk To Dolo).
Elevations of up to 2,000 metres in Toraja provide perfect micro-climates for coffee plantations and produce an exceptional cup profile that is bold and complex.
Delicious caramel notes and dark cocoa nibs can be savoured in a cup of JJ Royal Coffee’s Toraja Arabica.
It’s the epitome of a perfect cup of coffee with muted acidity and lingering finish.
Sumatra is famous for its natural wildlife, tropical highlands, thick forests and volcanoes. And it’s the high concentration of minerals from those volcanoes that makes Sumatran coffee unique, by enhancing its maturation process.
The coffee was named after the local Mandailing tribe by a Japanese soldier stationed in Sumatra and the nomenclature has stuck and spread throughout the world.
Mandheling coffee is known for its earthy, heavy-bodied flavours, and you can enjoy its smooth and chocolatey taste profile with subdued acidity in JJ Royal’s Mandheling Arabica.
Jayawijaya Regency, Papua
In the far east of Indonesia, Papua is a largely untouched island with 11 different ethnic tribal groups. It’s known for its protected wildlife, pristine beaches and clear blue waters.
Specialty Papuan coffee refers to coffee beans grown in the Baliem Valley in Jayawijaya Regency, where plantations can be found at a range of 1,400 to 2,000 metres and enjoy a cool climate of 20 degrees Celsius.
Due to its remote location and small production capacity, coffee from Papua is difficult to source. A cup of JJ Royal’s Papua Arabica coffee is smooth yet robust with strong notes of cedar and choco malt.
From fruity and floral flavours to bold, earthy tones, there is so much to explore across Indonesia’s single-origin coffees.
You can start that journey with JJ Royal Coffee, a leading producer of specialty-grade Indonesian coffee. Check out JJ Royal Coffee’s website here.