Moelyono Soesilo is a Global Coffee Expert who has worked in the coffee industry for 30 years. In his 30th year of career, he wanted to document his experience and knowledge about the portrait of the coffee industry in Indonesia into a popular writing with a light and casual style. Moelyono wanted to tell us about the real condition of the coffee industry in Indonesia, both upstream and downstream. Departing from this desire, the book KopiKita: Geliat, Tren, dan Carut Marut Trouble “. Through this book, readers will be presented with various stories about coffee terms, coffee history, coffee bean management processes, trends and problems.

The following is an exclusive interview with Moelyono Soeselo on the background of this book and the problems of the coffee industry in Indonesia that coffee entrepreneurs should understand and observe.

What prompted the writing of this “KopiKita” book?

Mr. Moel: “Actually, the KopiKita book is five years late. I should have published this book in 2017. Because at that time the coffee industry was in its hype. It can be seen from the development of modern coffee shops or cafes and then also the development of restaurants. Not to mention the price of ground coffee, which at that time one kilogram was still in the 40-50 thousand range and was sold at 5-6 thousand per packet, which was already very profitable. This is not the case. The coffee business is not as beautiful as modern coffee shops, but bitter as coffee itself. Through this book, I want to tell about the real condition of the coffee industry in Indonesia and the ins and outs of its problems from upstream to downstream.”

What kind of problems are often encountered in the coffee industry in Indonesia?

Mr. Moel: “Most people in the coffee business think that the coffee business is one of the most profitable businesses, but this is not the case. There is a lot that coffee players need to learn in this coffee industry, especially in the upstream process and it takes a long process to get benefits. For example, there was an incident where one of the new players offered me coffee for 18,000. At that moment I was shocked and I reiterated to the father, “Isn’t it wrong sir?” His father replied, “no sir”. The price is correct, because he only takes a 20 percent profit from the price. Hearing his father’s answer, I was even more shocked. Why is that?”

“Because in my opinion, in the coffee business, getting 20 percent profit is already very, very high, because just getting a net profit of 1 percent is already extraordinary, let alone this 20 percent must be very rich. This is what most people get wrong. Some said, “Sir, I only take a thousand rupiah per kilo.” Even though in the KopiKita business, we know for ourselves that if we can get a net profit of just one hundred rupiah per kilo, that’s very good. So this is what many don’t understand about the coffee business itself. Because of what? Because in this business we talk more about volume, not percentage profit. Being able to get a net profit of just 1 percent is already extraordinary, at most we are half a percent, half a percent is the maximum with the current coffee price of 25 thousand, we already get one hundred rupiah, it’s good, sometimes 50 rupiah is just done.”

Besides not understanding volume and net profit, are there other elements that coffee businesses need to understand?

Mr. Moel: “In addition to volume and net profitHowever, there is another thing that coffee business players need to understand well, which is curation. Obviously like this, people think the coffee business is like a normal business, right? I buy then I can immediately sell. Whereas in coffee it can’t be like that, coffee must be curated. And this is what people often don’t realize. Starting from the curation of water content, dirt content, how to process and select, and others. These are the things that most people don’t know, especially new players.”

“Speaking of this, I have a funny story, there is a person who once took my coffee class. I have taught that there are two types of quality systems, namely the Triage system or based on weight and the defects system or based on defect value. Once, he sought coffee from me with a grade of 45, but they knew it was grade 3 45. So I asked “45 percent?” He said, “Yes, 45 percent.” Then I continued to ask the system again, “Triage huh?” Then the answer was “Yes”, so we dealt with the Triage system. After a few days I looked at the contract and I was shocked. Because of what? Because this is a death certificate signature. The reason? Because what he is looking for is actually grade 3 45 defects not 45 Triage.”

“As I have mentioned that the defect system and Triage are two different things and the effect of this misunderstanding is very fatal because it can cause huge losses where the difference can reach 100 USD at least.”

“That’s why I never get tired of continuing to provide education related to this coffee industry, especially for new players. At least we have the same knowledge first so that we both have the same understanding.”

What are the challenges facing the Indonesian coffee industry?

Mr. Moel: “I have often talked about this, the main problem since 20 years ago in the coffee industry is production. Domestic productivity is still very low when compared to other countries. And this is dangerous, why? Because the level of consumption in the country is currently growing rapidly, if it is not matched by the level of production, one day the level of consumption will exceed the level of production. And as a result, Indonesia could become a net importer of coffee. Indonesia should be able to become a global coffee exporter.”

So, how to increase the amount of production per year?

Mr. Moel: “Before talking about increasing production, it is better to talk about the basics first. The problems of the Indonesian coffee industry are complex. Why? Because sometimes coffee commodities are only used for momentary purposes or momentary interests, not really taken care of properly on a continuous basis.”

“As a result, the long-standing problem related to production is fertilizer. In short, the government’s fertilizer prioritizes staple food products. These are types of products such as rice, corn, soybeans, sugarcane, etc. As for coffee, fertilizers for coffee still have difficulties, not as easy as fertilizers for staple food products. This is the biggest problem. Then there is also the issue of labor. The average Indonesian worker prefers to work in the city rather than in the region, and this is a challenge in itself. Therefore, we are starting to encourage the younger generation to go back to the farm.”

Those are some snippets of the KopiKita book story, for the full story friends can read the KopiKita book directly related to the hype, trends, and chaotic problems of the coffee industry in Indonesia.

If you are a coffee producer from various regions, do not hesitate to open a shop on the KopiKita platform, so that coffee lovers from all over Indonesia can taste your coffee production. Apply for a business on the KopiKita platformnow by filling out the the following form .

Are you a coffee lover? It’s time to visit the KopiKita platform to find coffee from various regions in Indonesia at the best price.k.