Posted in Kafevend Blog
In 1699, the Dutch governor
in Malabar, India, sent coffee seedlings to the Dutch governor of
Batavia ( now known as Jakarta) on the island of Java, part of
Indonesia. Following a bungled attempt in 1696, where flooding ruined
the seedlings, this later batch flourished, with the first export in
1711. Production ramped up quickly and by 1725, the Dutch had
snatched the monopoly on coffee from Arabia, a state of affairs that
they proceeded to maintain for 55 years. However, this wasn't great
news for those who grew the Dutch their coffee; tens of thousands of
slaves were imported from countries like India and China, as well as
from other lands making up Indonesia.
Nowadays, coffee is grown
all over Indonesia- renowned coffee producing areas include Java,
Sumatra and Papua (New Guinea as a whole is a coffee producer, but
only the western half of the island is part of Indonesia).
Ironically, despite the early exploitation by the Dutch, Indonesians
have taken to growing coffee on their own terms. Over 90% of the
coffee produced is grown by smallholders, often belonging to
cooperatives. The third largest coffee producer in the world, producing large amounts of robusta ( responsible for a large
amount of instant coffee), Indonesia possesses a wide variety of
coffees to try.