When you are in Bali and you love coffee, you know that you went to the right island. The coffee is very tasteful and they have a lot of different kinds of coffee. The most famous coffee produced is also the most expensive coffee in the world: Coffee Luwak. Besides the coffee Luwak, the Balinese coffee farmers are very good in making Robusta and Arabica coffee beans. Don’t hesitate to get a good Balinese cup of coffee after your surf lesson at Odysseys Surf School; it will get your energy level back very quick.
In contrast to the coffee from Java, Sulawesi and Sumatra, the coffee in Bali is not from the Dutch. Traders from Lombok brought coffee plants to Bali in the early 20th century. They found out that rich volcanic soil and the climate in the Kintamani region was very good to grow the coffee plants. The coffee plantations started small but grew rapidly. The coffee plants that the traders from Lombok brought to Bali were the Robusta plant. This plant is highly consisted against diseases and contains a high level of caffeine. Nowadays, the Kintamani region is the biggest region for the coffee farms. Not only the Robusta plant is grown there, the Arabica plant is becoming more common these days. The Arabica has a stronger body and less acid and it gives higher prices on the world wide coffee market, which is the most important reason why many farmers choose for Arabica.
The difference between the coffee in Bali and in the rest in Indonesia is the processing method. In Bali is wet processing the traditional way of coffee processing while in the rest of Indonesia dry processing the most common process is. The wet processing means that the fruit covering the coffee bean is removed while it is still wet. Dry processing means that entire fruit is being dried. This makes the taste different and is much brighter than other coffees from the region.
Coffee Luwak has a whole different process than the normal Bali Coffee. The fruits are eaten by a civet, a wild animal that looks like a cat, because of the pulp that is inside of the fruits. The fun fact is that the coffee beans will stay in tact during the digestion process. The enzymes in the stomach of the civet take away the bitterness of the bean, which gives it a smooth and mild taste. When the beans leave the body of the civet, the farmers collect them. Originally they took the beans from the wild civet, that’s why the price is so high (a pound can cost you easily $250,- or more) because the whole process can take a while. The civet only eats the ripest coffee cherries.
Be careful when you want to buy coffee luwak because a lot of ‘Coffee Luwak’ is not real or is made by caged civets. These civets are forced to eat the coffee beans and wont pick the ripest cherries. This will make taste less good but you will pay the same amount of money for it.
In Bali there are a lot of Coffee Luwak farms where you can see the process and try the coffee. This is definitely worth a try.
If you ever tried the Coffee Luwak or the famous Bali Coffee let us know what your thoughts are in the comments. You can always come to our office in Kuta Beach to drink a cup of Bali Coffee together.