By SARA SCHONHARDT, Wall Street Journal
JAKARTA—Indonesia has begun a love affair with good coffee. And some of its most avid proponents are trying to spread the love around.
From the air-conditioned confines of one of Jakarta’s newest malls, they held workshops over the weekend on roasting and sustainable farming, taught attendees how to make a latte and how to cup, which involves observing the tastes and aromas from brewed coffee.
“A Film About Coffee” was shown, followed by a discussion with some of Indonesia’s top coffee experts. It’s events like this, they say, through which Indonesia is slowing gaining a new coffee culture.
“The (Indonesian) market isn’t demanding the taste just yet; it’s just hype,” said Andrew Tang, a co-founder of coffee roaster Morph Coffee. The hope is once they’ve been spoiled by the good stuff, they won’t want to drink anything else.
Like many coffee-producing countries, Indonesia has long shipped its beans abroad in bulk. But local consumers drink mostly instant coffee from sachets or what’s known as tubruk, unfiltered coffee with grounds at the bottom.
In Jakarta, nearly a dozen new specialty coffee shops have opened in the past two years to cater to a hip middle class crowd that doesn’t mind paying $4 and waiting patiently as cold press steeps and milk is poured with care into cappuccinos.
Mr. Tang is working with One Fifteenth café to introduce coffee to new consumers in Jakarta by relating it to things like “limes, strawberries, things that are acceptable to their palates,” he says. New processing methods are also producing flavors such as jackfruit, banana and dark cherry. The taste is different from traditional espresso beans from Central America, but it’s gaining traction.
So eager is the new crowd of coffee lovers that coffee guru Hendri Kurniawan holds regular classes geared to people who want to become baristas. His pop-up shop, A Bunch of Caffeine Dealers, occupies the top floor of an increasingly cool local market in Jakarta, and is winning over even tea drinkers.
Food, drink and fashion website Manual recently released a coffee manual to celebrate the rise of the city’s coffee culture. It lists 10 new coffee shops that it says are doing coffee “right,” and is offering a month of free coffee to those who visit and get a stamp from each one.
It’s this type of promotion that Eko Purno, who works with sustainable coffee farmers in Java, hopes will give a boost to “green” farming.
“To make the perfect cup, the whole chain has to perform 100%,” he said during a discussion Sunday.
Mr. Purno supplies major roasters and coffee shops in the U.S., including Portland, Oregon, establishment Stumptown.
But as more people in Indonesia start to take a liking to coffee, roasters here say it’s becoming harder to find the best beans to supply the growing market. Mr. Tang has found most of the sustainable coffee producers he works with through Facebook.
“Ten years back it wasn’t like this; now people want to know where their coffee comes from,” said Mr. Purno. And in some ways, that makes the local market a better place to trade in green coffee, since, he adds, it’s founded on the basis of relationships.
“We don’t sell coffee to companies, we sell it to friends.”
Source : http://blogs.wsj.com/indonesiarealtime/2014/08/26/indonesians-warm-up-to-specialty-coffees/