The Island of the Gods is well known for its tourist destinations and natural beauty. However, Bali is not just about the beach and the sea. Bali is also known to the world as one of the best producers of Arabica coffee beans.
In Bali, precisely in the Kintamani area near Mount Batur, there are coffee plantations that still use the traditional coffee cultivation process. Similar to other types of Indonesian coffee, coffee in the Kintamani area is also named after the plantation area, namely Kintamani coffee.
In this post, we will take a closer look at Kintamani coffee beans, one of the most prominent Balinese coffee varieties in the country. Kintamani coffee comes from the Kintamani highlands on the island of Bali. For the Balinese, this coffee variety is not just another coffee bean but one of the practices of the Balinese spiritual life. To get to know Kintamani coffee better, let’s take a look at the explanation below!
History of Kintamani Coffee from Bali
When exactly Kintamani coffee or Balinese coffee existed and circulated is actually unknown. There are several sources that explain the origin of Balinese coffee. Launching Ubudian.id, the book Verslag over de Koeffiecultuur in America, Azie en Africa writes that Arabica coffee from Bali has been exported since two centuries ago. Bali and Palembang coffee have been exported since 1852.
In contrast to this, when tracing from the Javasche Courant, the existence of Balinese coffee was widely known in 1843. According to some historians, it was only after the Dutch East Indies Government established Afdeeling Boeleleng and Afdeeling Djebrana, branches of government in Bali, that coffee development there began on a massive scale.
This coffee was brought by a ship under the Dutch East Indies flag from Bali to Surabaya. Then, in 1869 in Rotterdam, Balinese coffee was sold at f23. According to the Dutch newspaper Nieuwe Rotterdamsche courant, a few months after its appearance in Rotterdam, the island’s coffee supply was sufficient for export to the Netherlands at f18 – f20.
The Proximity of Balinese Coffee to Spiritual Life: Tri Hita Karana
As we all know, Bali’s Kintamani coffee comes from the Kintamani highlands in North Bali. The Kintamani area is at an altitude of 1,300 – 1,700 meters above sea level among large volcanoes. With this altitude, kintamani coffee plants grow in a dry and cool climate. In the Kintamani area, this coffee is grown together with citrus trees and vegetables, giving it a citrusy flavor .
For the Balinese, coffee cultivation is not just a matter of planting and harvesting. Moreover, coffee cultivation is a practice of Subak Abian, a traditional cooperative-like collective farming system in Bali. Subak Abian is a system that encompasses religious practices and agricultural activities dating back to the 9th century.
Each region in Bali has its own subak or adat organization. Each subak has a temple called Pura Ulun Carik. In Subak, the rules are passed down from generation to generation as customary law. Because of this, if a farmer violates the Kintamani coffee cultivation method, the farmer will receive customary sanctions.
The Subak Abian system basically adheres to the Balinese way of life, Tri Hita Karana. Tri Hita Karana itself is a way of life rooted in Hinduism which means that “three causes of well-being.” The focus of this Hindu philosophy is the harmonious relationship between man and God, man and man, and man and the environment.
With this Tri Hita Karana principle, Kintamani coffee farmers practice coffee farming without using pesticides, insecticides, or other chemicals. With this customary rule, farmers can maintain coffee quality and also increase coffee production. To produce organic and environmentally friendly coffee, Balinese coffee farmers use only natural ingredients as fertilizer. Coffee farmers share their knowledge and resources to balance the natural cycle of coffee production under the Subak Abian system.
Kintamani coffee beans are Arabica beans, a single-origin specialty coffee with a lighter and sweeter flavor. The body of Kintamani coffee is very smooth. This Balinese coffee has a fruity, sour taste like oranges. The aroma of this coffee is unique, citrusy, which comes naturally without any chemicals.
How so? This citrusy aroma and sour, citrus-like flavor comes from the fact that Kintamani coffee trees are grown alongside vegetables and fruits near citrus plantations.
In general, the characteristics of Kintamani coffee can be described as follows:
- Coffee bean varieties: Arabica
- Caffeine level: Low
- Aroma: Dark chocolate, orange, lemon
- Acidity: Medium
- Body: High
- Taste: Sweet, syrupy, bitter chocolate
The average Kintamani coffee plantation is at an altitude of 1500 meters above sea level. Kintamani coffee farmers on the same land as vegetables and oranges. This is what then makes kintamani coffee have a sweet flavor like a fruit drink.
Review of this coffee in the eyes of the world
The Kintamani area is renowned for its reputation as a source of organic coffee due to its Subak Abian system, a simple coffee cultivation method that is very unique. In addition, the Kintamani coffee variety itself is also very famous for its sweet fruity flavor. In the eyes of the world coffee industry, Kintamani coffee has become a hot topic of discussion.
To date, Kintamani coffee has continuously been an export commodity from Bali. In 2008, the Kintamani coffee variety received GI certification, which is a requirement for export. Since then, Bali Kintamani coffee has gained more and more fans in both local and international markets. To date, these coffee beans have been exported to America, Australia, Europe, Korea and Japan.
Both at the local and international levels of the coffee industry, the presence of Kintamani coffee is always taken into account. One of Indonesia’s coffee export commodities has successfully patented its position in the local market with its unique flavor and coffee cultivation. In fact, today, Kintamani coffee and the Kintamani area have become a tourist attraction that offers Kintamani’s original local brew and the view of Kintamani surrounded by Mount Batur. This combination of nature and coffee seems to have further elevated the name of Kintamani coffee for both local and international customers.
Kintamani coffee is not just about taste, but also about history, natural potential, cultivation process, and spiritual life. It is with all these combinations that Kintamani coffee can become “rich.” Well, have you tried the “richness” of a cup of Kintamani coffee yet?
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