Although coffee is not a native plant to Indonesia, it has been around since the 17th century. Fast forward to today,Indonesia’s Java is now renowned for its gourmet Arabica coffee. The Arabica beans are considered superior to Robusta beans, which is inferior in taste and hence cheaper on the market.
The Javanese coffee beans can be stored in warehouses for two to three years, which enhances the strong full bodied taste that Arabica is known for. Other prime coffee growing regions are Sumatra and Sulawesi. Sumatra produces two of the world’s most famous quality coffees – Mandheling and Ankola (seldom-used market name for Arabica coffee). The Mandheling coffee is known for its low-key acidity along with its concentrated and complex flavor. However, both of these coffees are dry-processed and famous for their rich and unique flavor.
The most popular specialty coffees in Indonesia are Toraja and Mandehling. In addition, Indonesia is also home the world’s most expensive coffee – Luwak coffee, a world famous and widely considered the most delicious coffee in the world. Interesting, the making of the Luwak coffee may scare you a little – the coffee beans were handpicked by workers from the feces of civets (a raccoon like animal).
The civets are known to eat the ripest cherries of the coffee plants, and because they cannot digest the seed (the coffee beans), the beans are directly expelled along with the feces. Local farmers then collect the feces and handpick the proper beans.
Until today, there is no place else on earth that produces civets coffee other than Indonesia, making it a unique souvenir for friends and family.