Island Hopping, Coffee Style — Indonesia
With over 17,000 islands, Indonesia is an incredibly diverse country with a significant role in our coffee network. In fact, coffee is sometimes referred to as "Java," a nickname that comes from Indonesia's most populous island. While there's still a vibrant coffee industry in Java, you'll also find plenty of coffee in Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Bali.
Indonesia is yet to develop a national coffee route for tourists, but you can taste regional specialties at local cafés. Sumatra's Arabica coffee has earthy flavors originating from the island's volcanic soil and is wet-processed. Java's Arabica coffee is also wet-processed and tends to have a sweeter, smoother finish. Sulawesi Arabica coffee has a signature spiciness with hints of cinnamon and cardamom. And Bali is famous for its kopi luwak – one of the world's most expensive specialty coffees. Known for its peculiar fermentation process that involves Indonesia's palm civet cats, kopi luwak is both controversial and highly sought after for its sweet and full-bodied flavors.
Although these regional specialties are primarily Arabica, most of Indonesia's coffee exports are Robusta coffee beans. These exports make up a large portion of Indonesia's instant coffee and espresso production.
Ethiopian Coffee – The Original Brew
Ethiopia's Kaffa Province is the Arabica plant's original home and where we sourced the word coffee. Nowadays, coffee plays a significant role in Ethiopian culture. It's a means for gathering with friends and is the central component in traditional coffee ceremonies. When visiting villages or bustling Addis Ababa, coffee tourists can partake in elaborate coffee rituals performed by local women. In cities, you'll regularly find street vendors preparing coffee in this traditional style for people on the go. Coffee rituals are typically a way to welcome guests or celebrate and can take two to three hours. The host roasts raw coffee beans over a fire and boils the grounds in spouted clay vessels. Your host may offer you sugar, infuse your Ethiopian coffee with cardamom, or provide snacks like popcorn with your fresh cup.