Coffee Country Spotlight - Indonesia!


Welcome back to Coffee Country Spotlight, the only place you get an awesome history lesson while sitting in your comfy chair sipping your favorite caffeine beverage. Today  we’re going to talk about Indonesia. Join me as we learn some interesting facts about this country as well as their role in the coffee production industry.

First, let me amaze you with some really unique and interesting facts about this wonderful country.

#1. Indonesia is really big- it’s made up of 17,508 islands spread across 1.9 million square kilometers. To put that in perspective, it takes 12 hours to fly from one end to the other…

#2. The world’s largest flower, Rafflesia Arnoldi grows in Sumatra, Indonesia. This flower can weigh up to 15 pounds and its petals grow 1.6 feet long by 1 inch thick. Now this is quite an impressive flower.

#3. Want to remain young? Indonesia has the largest “young” population. There are about 165 million people living in Indonesia all under the age of 30. Only 8% of the population is aged 60 and over. That’s pretty interesting if you ask me.

#4. Indonesia is the 4th largest country in the world with a population of about 250 million people. And remember our previous statistic…only about 8% of that population is age 60 or older.

Now that you’ve learned some interesting facts about Indonesia, let’s talk coffee. As of 2014, Indonesia was classified as the fourth largest producer of coffee in the world. It was the coffee industry that played a vital part in the growth of this country. It has been said that Indonesia produced about 540,000 metric tons of coffee in 2014 alone. Just to show you what that would be in pounds, I took the liberty of converting the metric tons to US tons and the conversion is about 595248.108 US tons. Now, that is a ton of coffee, no pun intended. Hee hee!

We can thank the generosity of the Dutch governor from Malabar, India for sending the Yemeni (also known as the Arabic coffee) seed to the Dutch governor of Batavia. While this first shipment of seedlings failed because of the flooding in Batavia, the second shipment was successful and was the reason the coffee industry began in Indonesia. The coffee industry has boomed ever since the 18th century and it just keeps growing each year. There are more than 20 different varieties of coffee that are being grown in Indonesia, and these varieties are put into six main categories.

  • Typica – the original cultivar which was introduced by the Dutch. Typically found in Sumatra and high altitudes.
  • Hibrido de Timor – also known as Tim Tim, this is a natural cross between Arabica and Robusta. It is said this originated from a single coffee tree planted in 1917.
  • Linie S – originally developed in India from the Boubon cultivar. Most common are S-288 and S-795.
  • Ethipian lines – Includes the Rambung and Abussinia.
  • Caturra Cultivars – this is a mutation of Bourbon coffee, originated in Brazil.
  • Catimor Lines – This is a cross between Arabica and robusta and has been said to have poor flavor.

Let’s face it any type of coffee is good coffee, am I right? It’s always interesting to see the different types of coffee which grow in different areas and how they can vary from one place to another. I want to thank you for joining me on another Coffee Country Spotlight. I hope you have enjoyed this as much as I have. You’re never too old or young to learn new things and I for one enjoy learning about coffee.