Indonesian Arabica beans are always a good choice for coffee shops or restaurants. Besides having a rich earthy taste, Indonesian Arabica beans are generally available at affordable prices. Safe to say, it’s good for business.
Many parts of Indonesia are a healthy environment for Arabica beans to grow. Especially the upland areas with volcanic soil and higher altitudes. Among them, the Island of Java is the first and oldest coffee-producing region in Indonesia.
Java’s strong influence in the coffee industry is related to its role as a center of trade and government in Indonesia. This article focuses on Arabica coffee farming in Java, with a hope of giving you more insights on Java’s Arabica.
Arabica Coffee Farming History
Arabica coffee farming in Java has a long history dating back to the Dutch colonial era in the 17th century. The Dutch brought Arabica plants from Yemen and started to cultivate them in the highland areas of Java.
Java’s high altitude, cool temperatures, and volcanic soil proved to be ideal conditions for growing Arabica. So, the industry quickly grew in the region. The Dutch introduced modern cultivation and processing techniques to the farmers, which improved the quality and yield of the coffee.
There are several varieties of Arabica beans grown in Java, including Typica, Bourbon, and Catimor. These varieties have different flavor profiles and growing requirements, but they all thrive in Java’s climate and soil.
In the 1800s, Java became one of the largest coffee-producing regions in the world. Its exports reaching as high as 100,000 tons per year. Arabica was the primary variety grown in Java, and it was known for its high quality and unique flavor profile.
However, Arabica coffee farming in Java was challenged when a disease called coffee rust swept through the region. It caused significant damage to the plantations.
The Dutch attempted to revive the industry by introducing new varieties, such as Robusta, but the damage was already done.
Nowadays, Arabica remains an important crop in Java, although it is not the biggest yield in the area. It typically grows on small family-owned farms that still use traditional bean processing methods.
Arabica Coffee Harvesting
The harvesting season typically runs from June to September, and farmers usually pick the coffee cherries by hand.
After harvesting, the beans are usually processed using the wet method. This method involves removing the outer layers of the cherry and then fermenting the beans to remove any remaining fruit pulp. The beans are then dried, sorted, and roasted before being sold.
Overall, Arabica coffee farming in Java is an important part of the region’s agricultural economy. High-quality coffee produced there is prized by coffee lovers around the world. The coffee is praised for its unique and rich flavor profile, which is mainly influenced by the local growing conditions.
Today, Java remains one of the major coffee-producing regions in Indonesia, and Arabica coffee is still widely grown there. While the industry has faced challenges in recent years, Java’s long history of Arabica coffee farming bode well for its future.