A cup of Java Coffee

Love Engine | Saturday, 17 January 2015 - 14:41:50 WIB | be read: 3430 reader

Java is so synonymous with coffee, one of the world’s favourite drink, some countries the term java has become a catch phrase for a cup of the hot, brown stuff. Coffee was introduced to Indonesia by the Dutch, who initially founded plantations around Jakarta, Sukabumi and Bogor. Due to the country’s excellent coffee growing conditions, plantations began springing up across Java, and even in parts of Sulawesi and Sumatra. Early on, the prominent coffee was arabica; arabica coffees were traditionally named after the port they were exported from, hence the common worldwide terms of java and mocha (from Yemen) for coffee.

Commonly thought of as a bean, coffee is actually a fruit pit or berry. Around 2000 berries are needed to make one pound of coffee. The most expensive coffee in the world, fetching US$300 a pound, is kopi luwak, a fully flavoured coffee produced in Java (it is also exported from the Philippines, Vietnam and southern India). What makes kopi luwak – also known as civet coffee – so expensive is the process by which it gains its unusually rich flavour. The local palm civet, a catlike animal, gorges itself on coffee berries and passes the inner pit through its digestive tract unharmed. Along the way the pits are affected by the animal’s stomach enzymes and come out the other end smelling of roses (or rich coffee in this case). The coffee has been appetisingly nicknamed ‘cat poop’ or ‘monkey poo’ coffee.

Today, Indonesia is the fourth-largest producer of coffee in the world after Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia. Robusta has replaced arabica as the leading coffee of choice, currently making up some 88% of the country’s exports. For further reading on Indonesia’s love affair with coffee pick up a copy of A Cup of Java by Gabriella Teggia and Mark Hanusz.

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