In a sip of coffee, are the long stories behind it. About the journey from upstream to downstream – consumed by the connoisseurs. It’s not just a beverage, it’s not just a fruit, it’s a whole experience, a whole idea.
Not to mention when talking about Indonesian coffee, which not only has a variety of flavors, but is also full of culture and tradition. Different regions, different tastes of coffee, different ways of coffee.
And, even though Indonesia produced over 674 tons of coffee in 2018, not many people are aware that the country’s own coffee is of high quality and tastes so good thanks to its rich soils and idyllic growing conditions. In fact, the enjoyment deserves to be matched with coffees from around the globe.
My desire to educate and introduce the taste of Indonesian coffee stems from the people that cultivate it. It truly is an art and an experience everyone should have.
Each region creates its best coffee in hopes of enlightening your senses with their distinct fragrances and flavors that come to life through every last drop. Indonesian coffee offers a wide range of sensory experiences including aroma descriptors like flowery, nutty, smoky, herby, and taste descriptors such as acidity, bitterness, sweetness, saltiness, and sourness (see Coffee Flavor Wheel).
Every First Crack
Although life for coffee starts much earlier, the true magic begins with the first Crack. This is when the coffee beans start turning brown in the yellowing process, its when the mixture of carbon dioxide gas and water both evaporate in the coffee beans. When the pressure of these two elements reaches its peak, the coffee beans will begin to open up and this is when the coffee beans will break down. First Crack. You can recognize this process through a crunchy sound, like the sound of a cracking peanut. At this stage, all the characters and familiar flavors of the coffee bean will begin to develop and “take shape”.
Beyond your traditional cup of Joe
The average bag of Coffee found at your local market is usually a combination of roasted beans of two botanic types: arabica and robusta. The big difference between the two is its taste and the level of caffeine. Arabica beans, tend to be more expensive and have a milder taste. Not to mention it contains about 70% less caffeine than the robusta bean.
The subtropic regions such as Indonesia provide good conditions for coffee to be grown. As a result more 90% of Indonesia’s coffee is cultivated by small-scale farmers tending to at least one hectare (10,000m2) in a total area of 1.24 million hectares, 933 hectares of robusta plantations, and 307 hectares of arabica plantations.
Indonesian coffee has a distinctive taste is not only sought after due to its high-quality but also the local wisdom and its connection to herbal medicines. In general, most Indonesian coffees are known for their full-bodied, rich spicy flavors and vibrant yet low-toned and gentle acidity, and long finish/aftertaste. They are earthy in flavor, it’s an acquired taste, yet loved by so many.
Here are seven signature drinks
#1 West Java Puntang coffee with tamarind turmeric
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon coconut sugar
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 fluid ounce brewed espresso
- Combine coconut milk, vanilla extract, stevia sweetener, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until warm, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from heat. Blend until frothy using an immersion blender.
- Pour espresso into a serving mug.
- Top off with frothed milk mixture.
While Puntang coffee combined with tamarind turmeric tastes much lighter. Unexpectedly, the tastes of the two are equally balanced, neither one is more dominant. Tasted turmeric, but there is still a taste of coffee. Coupled with the spices of the coffee, it makes the two blend well.
#2 fine robusta Temanggung with kencur rice
100 gr rice
1 pieces big ginger
125 gr sugar
1 pieces turmeric
1spoon acid(asam jawa)Tamarindus
1 pandan leaf.
- first, rice is soaked in water more than 3 hours
- boiled jawa ,sugar, ginger, turmeric, pandan leaf, and acid jawa together with 3 glasses water then filtered it
- after boiling, take the ginger, turmeric, and kencur. after that you can grind all ingredients together with rice until smooth.
- Boiled the water and pour with all ingredients before together little by little, then filtered it.
- add lemon and salt,
- add coffee.
This robusta coffee from Temanggung, Central Java is mixed with sweet and spicy medicine herb kencur rice. The use of jamu nasi kencur is considered the most appropriate when juxtaposed with this coffee choice. Not only does it taste good, but ulcer sufferers can enjoy this one coffee because there is a mixture of herbs. Besides being able to neutralize the coffee, the kencur rice used can also warm the body.
#3 Toraja Pango-pango coffee with chamomile and lavender tea
Toraja coffee beans
Organic chamomile buds
Toraja coffee beans casually mixed with calming chamomile flower tea. Toraja coffee has a floral aroma, so it is suitable to be combined with chamomile. You can add lavender buds to create an alluring effect. Light-bodied infusion with floral top notes of chamomile and pronounced herbaceous notes.
#4 Gayo coffee and coconut water
Sumatra coffee beans
1 cinnamon stick straw
Coconut water when combined with coffee is able to create an extraordinary taste. This drink uses coffee beans from Sumatra, especially from the Gayo region as an option. This drink is inspired by the habit of the people of North Sumatra who usually drink coffee by using coconut shells as a glass and cinnamon sticks as a straw.
#5 Bali Kintamani with orange extract
Bali Kintamani coffee
Even though it has been formulated with a combination of other ingredients, the taste of each coffee does not immediately sink. Balinese Kintamani coffee, combined with orange, for example, has a refreshing taste. Bali Kintamani has citrus notes and berries, so it goes well with oranges.
#6 Flores Bajawa with apples and honey (rum is optional)
60 ml Rum
30 ml Lime juice
15 ml Coffee
3 slices Green apple
30 ml Spiced Honey
½ White egg
Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake. Strain in a glass. Garnish with crunchy apple and nuts.
Early on, this coffee from Flores – Bajawa was only combined with honey. However, something was missing. So they added fresh apples. That’s right. You can add green apples, crushed first, and then mixed with honey and coffee. As a bonus, you can add the Rum and 1/2 white egg for an early evening cocktail.
#7 Papua Baliem with a mixture of chocolate and hazelnuts
As the name implies, this drink combines coffee, chocolate, and hazelnuts. The choice of coffee used comes from Papua, especially from the Baliem Valley region. The coffee produced by Tanah Papua has a strong chocolate aroma, so if it is mixed with chocolate and hazelnuts it will create an even better taste.
Coffee Testing Lab
Once you receive your coffee sample from a farmer with different roast profiles, it’s time to get your taste angle. But first, you need to make sure your coffee doesn’t contain any major defects that can interfere with the taste, such as soil, fermented fruit, or anything else.
The first step to becoming a coffee barista is to enjoy the journey behind the coffee.
General info about the coffee thats being tested:
- Dealer or Farm
- Roasting Company or shop
- The type (Arabica or Robusta)
- How is prepared Type
- Roasting date (freshness)
- Packing Size
Select two different types of coffee and weigh each one out to 8.5 grams and grind it. (make sure to clean before each new grind)
Smell the grinds and then the other while trying to recognize the differences and taking notes.
This is referred to as the fragrance. The character of the fragrance indicates the nature of the taste.
Typically, sweet scents lead to acidity tastes and pungent scents lead to sharp tastes.
Fill with hot water (just before it boils) to the brim and set your timer for 4 minutes.
This allows the coffee particles to steep, and you’ll notice a crust, or cap on the surface of the brew.
Take another sniff. This is referred to as the aroma (taking notes again).
Place 2 more cups in front of you, filling one cup with hot water and the other two empty for now.
Left Cup – used for dumping extra crust
Middle Cup – your sample coffee
Right Cup – used for rinsing your spoon
Taste a little bit of coffee with your spoon by dipping it in the cup and slurping it into your mouth. Slurping is necessary to mix air with the coffee to taste the complex flavors. let it pass from your tongue slowly to determine the viscosity. Splash it around in your mouth and then spit the coffee into an empty container. Wash, rinse, repeat. Note: If tasting 2 different coffees, drinking water in between sampling to neutralize the coffee taste.
Your notes on the following criteria should allow you to test and evaluate coffee like a pro
- Coffee Smell
- Coffee Acids
- Body of Coffee
- Mouth feeling
- Outgoing of Coffee
- And then there is an overall assessment
I will be visiting some farms in Sumatra and Sulawesi which are among the best-reviewed Indonesian coffees around so be sure to check out my online coffee shop soon!