There are three main coffee growing areas in Indonesia. Java is the one of the largest islands in the archipelago and also the largest producer of coffee. Java is renowned for its gourmet Arabica coffee. Arabica coffee is most suited to altitudes over 1500m. It grows well in temperatures of 16-20 degrees Celsius. Arabica plants tend to be more prone to disease, so farmers must pay close attention to the plants while they are growing. Java is also known as producing one of the finest aged coffees in the world in Old Java. Javanese coffee beans can be stored in warehouses for two to three years. This increases the strong full bodied taste that Arabica is known for.
Another major coffee producing island in Indonesia is Sulawesi, which was once known as Celebes. Coffee grown in Sulawesi is mostly processed using the dry method. . The most famous coffee growing region in Sulawesi is Toraja, where the coffee grows in the mountainous area near the center of the island 1500 meters above sea level. Coffee in the region is grown using traditional practices of coffee cultivation, mostly on privately owned smallholder plantations. Picking and sorting of the coffee cherries is done by hand making the coffee of very high quality as only the best cherries are picked. This type of growing and harvesting is utilized due to the very mountainous terrain and the haphazard planting of the coffee trees, resulting in a yield of only 300 kilo per hectare of coffee. Toraja Arabica has a very distinguished personality in terms of its full bodied taste paired with caramelized aroma, and a crisp and clean aftertaste. The earth and the other vegetation of the region are partly responsible for giving the coffee its flavor. The low annual yield of Toraja’s Arabica makes this coffee highly sought after by coffee connoisseurs worldwide. Toraja Sulawesi coffee is particularly popular in Japan. There is a very limited supply of Toraja coffee in the world due to the cultivation practices and conditions. The highest grades of Toraja coffee are normally reserved for export.
Sumatra is another major coffee producing area of Indonesia. Sumatra produces two of the world’s most famous and high quality coffees – Mandheling and Ankola (seldom-used market name for Arabica coffee). Sumatra Mandheling coffee is produced outside the city of Padang, in the west coast coffee district. This coffee is characterized by a low-key acidity and a heavy, almost syrupy, body with a concentrated and complex flavor. Grown in west-central Sumatra, both of these coffees are dry-processed and are renowned for their unique and rich flavor. Indonesia’s most highly sought after specialty coffees are the Toraja and Mandehling.
The names of newer regional specialties have attracted attention in recent years, including Arabica Wamena, Kenaliwa Black Pearl Papua, Aceh Gayo, Flores Bajawa, and Kenaliwa Supreme Bajawa coffees.