Coffee – The Love and Hate In A Cup For Indonesians.
Coffee has been a part of culture for Indonesians since the age of cultuurstelsel (cultivation system). This system was built by the Dutch to increase profitability of Dutch East Indies to pay the cost from the Paderi and Diponegoro wars and also the Belgium Revolution which brought them to the brink of bankruptcy.
Instead of taking land taxes, the then Governor General Johannes van den Bosch created a system which is fair enough to be read on paper. The cultuurstelsel demanded 20% of village farming lands to be used for export commodities or alternatively peasants had to work for 60 days a year in the government plantations to pay for the land taxes. Initially the cultuurstelsel was mostly implemented in West Java and one the main commodities was coffee, which is now famous with the name Java Coffee. How it was implemented was not to be discussed in this article. For a little hint, it was a very dark and harsh period for many Indonesian peasants.
The coffee planted in West Java then brought to other islands of Indonesia by the Dutch and further created some more varieties in taste and aroma. Different from most parts of Indonesia, the coffee were not brought to Bali by the Dutch, but by the Lombok and Javanese traders. They initially planted the trees in between orange trees, which created the orange flavor in most Balinese coffee nowadays.
Following the coffee was the coffee culture where Indonesians started to drink coffee at the local stalls, created kopi tubruk (Turkish style coffee), kopi susu kental manis (coffee with sweetened condensed milk), and kopi tubruk gula (Turkish style coffee with added sugar). Initially most Indonesian would prefer a very dark roast coffee with no butter or oil involved. However, recently there is a new wave of light roasted coffee with cool coffee places serving single origins from around Indonesia.
There are many coffee places to enjoy in Ubud. For the mean time, I would only write on two nice coffee places in Jalan Raya Ubud. Both of them are local chain, who pick and roast their own coffee beans.
The coffee selection of Anomali Coffee…
The first one is Anomali Coffee. This is an Indonesian coffee shop chain. They serve most of the Indonesian single origins. They have Aceh, Mandailing, Java, Bali Kintamani, up to Flores, Toraja, and Papua. They have their own blend. With good baristas serving your coffee. You can ask for French Press, V60 drip, espresso machine, or even aeropress. My favorite is actually the aeropress. They are located at Jalan Raya Ubud 88 at the corner of Jalan Hanoman. You can identify them from a far. The perk of sitting in this coffee shop is that you can sip your coffee and judge the people that walk through the Ubud natural catwalk (just kidding). Yes, so many passersby, with all type of human being to be seen.
The second coffee place, which is my new favorite for a semi-industrial coffee place, is Black Eye Coffee and Roastery. A tiny coffee place just newly opened a few days ago. They are a local Bali company who roasted their own beans in the Tabanan Area, just north of Ubud. If you are interested, you can visit them at Secret Garden Village.
Enjoy your coffee around Ubud and let us know what you think. We will be back with more coffee shop stories for you. Bring home some of the single origin and enjoy it while remembering Ubud. We hope we will be in your memories too.
Good memories, good coffee, well stayed, NamaStay!