Indonesian Coffee – Where Did You Say It Came From?

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A Mothers Love

Last week was like a roller coaster ride for me. Andy asked for my help for his class presentation about coffee beans from Indonesia. On top of that, Mary, who played the lead role in their school play was set to be on stage in the same week. To make it worse, my husband Danny was not able to help me out because he was out of town for a business meeting.

Good thing, I’m a super MOM! Just kidding, actually, I was only coaching Mary, and helping her rehearse her lines. It was a good thing that we made her costume ahead of time (Pocahontas) so we did not need to rush.

As for Andy’s project, we decided to split the project between us. He asked me to be his researcher which I gladly obliged.

I love the fact that my kids still find me useful with regards to helping them out with their school work. At times, I enjoy it because it makes me feel like a kid again, but there are times that I prefer they do it on their own. Haha!

Anyways, I asked Andy why he had chosen this topic. According to him, their history teacher had asked them to choose a country, and at the same time focus on one of the industries that this country is known for. He has already made a search online, and saw that one of Indonesia’s main source of living is to harvest, and produce coffee.

Both my kids are self-sufficient, and while Andy was explaining his thought process to me, I was teary-eyed. It was a ‘proud mama’ moment. I just can not believe that I have raised these children. Well, of course together with my husband Danny.

Okay, before I break down into tears, let me share with you, my dear readers, about what I found out about Indonesia, and coffee.

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Industry Of Coffee In Indonesia

In 2014, Indonesia was hailed as the fourth top coffee producer, and coffee exporter in the world. Despite the fact that the coffee plantations are grown by small farmers. These farmers produce both Arabica, and Robusta coffee beans, but they grow the latter more.

It never occurred to me that they have a huge land for farming. When someone mentions Indonesia, the first thought that comes to mind is Bali, and that they are surrounded by bodies of water like the Philippines. I remember seeing an article that Bali was awarded the World’s Best Island(and this was confirmed by Wikipedia as well, and it was BBC World Travel that awarded this title to the island).

Indonesia is also known for its specialty coffees, and one of them is called the kopi luwak. According to Indonesia Investment’s website, this is by far the most expensive specialty coffee in the world. The process is a bit unusual because the beans used in this coffee were eaten, then excreted by the Asian palm civet. The beans undergo a special fermentation process, and it was believed that the civet selects the juiciest of the coffee cherries.

Hmmm… *gulp*… I am not sure if I can drink that. After reading the process on how kopi luwak was made – would you dare?

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The best Indonesian coffee beans come from three different places – Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Java Arabica as per Espressocoffeeguide.com. From what I gather, their coffee is less acidic, but still full of flavor.

Well, my dear readers, and fellow bloggers, I do hope that you were able to learn a thing or two about coffee from Indonesia. Actually, all this research about coffee makes me want to go get one. I might try a Sumatra blend in our local coffee shop down the street, so that I can have a first hand experience of what it tastes like.

That seems to be a good idea. I can take Andy along with me, and let him have a sip so that he can best explain it when he presents to his teacher.

Another bonding moment for me, and my son. Till next time! Toodles!

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Kenyan AA

Coffee Shops On Every Corner

 

Crowded Coffee Shop

Suddenly, it just happened. Have you noticed where people spend most of their time these days? I haven’t conducted a survey yet, but whenever I stroll around, I always see coffee shops full of people. When I was working in Dubai a few years ago, coffee shops drew more crowds of people compared to the restaurants alongside them.

I feel so many people linger in coffee shops just to look cool, or something. It makes me think, do they really enjoy their cup of coffee, or are they just their for their status? Can you sense my irritation? Lol! I am just a little frustrated because I also want to spend some time in a coffee shop to either read, or do some work, but the coffee shop near my place, and those shops a few blocks away are always packed!!! Where did all these people come from?

What is drawing more people to coffee shops? I wonder if the coffee beans being produced now are richer, and tastier. I need to get to the bottom of this(yes, I have a lot of time in my hands. One of the perks of being a freelancer).

My research led me to the coffee production in Kenya, and the country itself.

Kenya is a perfect place to grow coffee. The adequate amount of rainfall, and sunlight complements the acidic soil that this country has.

With this weather, Kenyans are able to produce high grade coffee beans. After milling, the coffee beans are graded. AA is the largest coffee bean grade from the harvest, and it sells at a higher rate compared to the other grades. Espressocoffeeguide.com considers the Kenyan AA as the world’s brightest coffee. It further added that this coffee is favored by the coffee connoisseurs.

High Grade Coffee

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In Kenya, they have a unique way of trading their coffee beans. Rather than exporters approaching the small-scale coffee farmers, they do it through an auction. In this process, samples of the beans are distributed to exporters who then sends it off to their potential customers. They auction the coffee beans, and the highest bidder gets the beans harvested for the week. Coffeereview.com cited this system as the key to Kenya’s success in exporting their coffee.

Obviously, I am a coffee drinker myself, often I brew my own cup. Every now, and then though, I do enjoy finding a little chill coffee shop to hang at. It’s so lovely to sit back, and have someone else work their magic into my cup of coffee. For me, coffee sparks conversation, and it also allows ideas to flow in my head. It really helps when I am about to start a writing project, or go into a meeting with my clients.

I like a full-flavored coffee, and it seems I have been enjoying Kenyan coffee for quite sometime now. With this new information I am reading, I feel embarrassed. I have been criticizing people who hang out in coffee shops as posers, that know nothing about coffee, when in reality I am also part of that group. Oopsies, sorry guys.

Well, to answer my own question, I don’t think the coffee is richer, and tastier now compared to before. I do think coffee shops have expanded their coffee menu though to suit everyone’s taste.

This is beginning to be an interesting research, and I want to pitch this to one of my clients. However, apart from the coffee story, I think there is more to Kenya than just their coffee.

Safaris And Museums

I am aware that Kenya is famous for wild animals. Their top tourist attraction is their safari adventures. One of the famous wildlife park that Kenya has is the Maasai Mara National Reserve. It is famous for the Great Migration, wherein gazelles, and zebras travel this part from July through October.

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Another park worth visiting according to Planetware’s website is Lake Nakuru National Park. This park in Central Kenya is full of pink flamingos. An approximate of 450 species of birds have been recorded in this park.

Now, if you are more interested to know more about the country’s rich culture, Nairobi, the country’s capital is the place to go. The Nairobi National Museum can give you a glimpse of Kenya’s history, culture, and art.

Another place to visit is the Bomas of Kenya. This is a living museum that features the different tribes in Kenya. They have recreated the traditional village for tourists to understand, and know how the ethnic groups lived.

These are just some of the places that I have read online, and it looks like there are a lot more places to see in Kenya. I really hope that one of my clients will like this feature that I want to do. If they approve, I will ask for a budget so that I can visit the places that I have read online, and maybe explore the country like a local.

See! Another great idea there. I told you I get my ideas flowing when I drink coffee. Maybe I’ll open my own coffee shop, so won’t have to line up, and feel frustrated. Another eureka moment!

Now, let me get another cup of coffee in me so that I can write my introductory letter to my clients, on why they should consider my Kenyan inspired article to be published in their magazines.

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