An island that happens to grow supremely delicious coffee!
Indonesian Coffee History
While coffee may be called “java”, the name derives from one of many Indonesian islands, coffee from Indonesia is a relatively new development. Coffee from India was originally sent to the then Dutch colony of Jakarta in 1696 and by 1711 the first coffee exports were sent from Java to Europe by the Dutch East India Company. By 1717, nearly 2000 pounds of Indonesian coffee beans were being exported, solidifying the island nation as one of the premier sources for feeding Europe’s coffee obsession outside of Ethiopia and Arabia.
From then on, all the way into the 1950s, the Dutch government held tight control over coffee production with large, plantation systems springing up to keep up with European demand. These export crops of coffee were placed directly in government-controlled warehouses, rather than taxed, in a highly corrupt system that greatly affected Indonesians across the islands.
However, what developed out of this highly exploitative system was a varied coffee cultivation culture due in part to the geographic differences between islands. While the large Dutch-plantations were nationalized in the 1950s, a large majority of Indonesian coffee beans grown are now primarily done by small farm holders with many forming growing co-operatives that operate along organic guidelines.
Coffees from each major island system are many and each possesses unique flavors and characteristics all their own. While there are more than 20 existing Indonesian coffee varietals, the most well known are Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Bali.
The island of Java was the first Indonesian island that grew coffee and current crops can trace their lineage back here before the other varietals began to spread due to a leaf rust plague than infected the original crop back in the 1880s.
Most Java coffee beans are quickly milled right after harvest and then wet-processed. Certain farmers even age their beans for nearly five years before shipping them out. The aging process turns the beans from green to light brown and during the interim, the flavor profiles intensify while the acidity of the coffee bean is reduced. These types of coffees are usually called “Old Java” or “Old Government”.
Fully washed then dried in the sun, the Java Estate Kayumas has a clean & bright profile unique from other Indonesian coffees. It cups with low acidity, full-body, with notes of malted cocoa, almonds, sparkling brightness & sweet caramel. Drink it straight, or blend it with a Yemen bean for a True Mocca Java blend!
Not into experimenting? Try the CBC Mocca Java Blend!