INDONESIA’S climate and fertile soil makes it one of the world’s best places to grow coffee. A staple of Indonesia’s agriculture output since the 17th century, coffee cultivation has been passed down through generations from the hillsides of the Gayo highlands in Aceh to the coastal lines of Lampung, the hinter-lands of Toraja to the mountains of Papua.
Unique coffee cultures have evolved across the archipelago over four centuries, and anyone wishing to gain a deeper appreciation of Indonesia’s distinct coffee heritage should consider the following five destinations:
AcehLocal legend says that this was the very first place in Sumatra where coffee was planted. More than 90% of the people here produce coffee in small farms. The 10-hour ride from Medan to Gayo is worth it not only to taste the popular Kopi Telor Kocok (coffee mixed with a meringue-like mixture of beaten egg and sugar) but also to visit the lakes, forests and the culture of the Gayo people.
Dubbed “the city of a thousand coffee stalls,” Manggar is the place to enjoy kopi tubruk – coarse coffee with steaming hot water – at one of the kiosks, which are often open for 24 hours. The coffee beans, mostly Robusta, are brought in from Lam-pung and roasted locally.
Bandung, West Java
Java’s plantation barons used to live here at the turn of the century, and Braga Street with its almost Parisian look was the epicenter of café culture. At the end of the most famous street stands Savoy Homann, arguably the first hotel in the Dutch Indies to use an Italian espresso machine. The machine has survived into old age, and today you can see it in Warung Laos, a pizza place near Cihampelas Street. The city also boasts one of the oldest roasters in Indonesia, Kopi Aroma.
Ijen, East Java
The location of the oldest Arabica coffee plantation in Indonesia, near the Bromo National Park. Guests can stay the night on the plantation, something of a rarity in Indonesia, at the Catimor Homestay, which dates back over a century.
Between the resorts, temples and terraced rice fields in and around this Balinese hill town, there are plenty of coffee plantations quietly providing the ingredient for Balinese coffee. Anomali Coffee has recently opened up, or consider a cup at Kopi Seniman or Freak Coffee. – Burufly.com