Because of its popularity, the word “Java” not only describes a region in Indonesia, but has become a synonym for coffee. Java has been well-known in the world market since the early 17th century. The Arabica coffee tree was successfully introduced to the fertile island of Java in 1699. By 1711, coffee was being exported to Amsterdam by VOC, a Dutch East Indies Company.
In 1878, the coffee leaf rust disease was first found in Java. The destruction of Arabica coffee due to this disease occurred mostly with coffee at lower altitudes, due to its high susceptibility and climate. The Dutch coffee planters then began planting coffee at higher altitudes in order to minimize risk. In East Java, the new coffee was planted in fertile volcanic soil and in the dry climate of the Ijen Plateau areas, at altitudes ranging from 900 to 1,600 meters.
Since the 1960’s, Manduranese and Javanese farmers that inhabit the areas surrounding the plateau have grown Arabica coffee on their land. In addition, plantations have grown coffee near the villages of Kayumas and Curah Tatal, close to the Kayumas coffee estate. Smallholding Arabica coffee farms in this region are estimated to account for 1,500 – 3,000 total hectares.
Planting management applications by smallholding farmers near the villages of Kayumas and Curah Tatal are similar to the Arabica plantations of Kayumas. The manure they use is produced organically by the animals inside the farm (cattle, goats, and poultry); pesticides are never used.
The population of coffee ranges from 1,111 to 2,000 trees per hectare. The farmers generally prune their coffee trees using a single stem system. They cut their trees at 180cm in height in order to ease harvesting. In this system, cherry quality depends on branch management; better pruning yields higher quantities of high quality cherries.
Farmers use permanent shade trees such as Erythrina, Albizia, and Leucaena on their farms. Shading intensity generally ranges from 30% to over 50%. The trees are also a source of food for the animals. Arabica coffee is the most competitive cash crop for the farmers. In order to minimize risk, several farmers use intercropping with other perennial crops, such as Parkia (a kind of vegetable bean) and Avocados.
This coffee is produced on farms completely surrounded by the jungle, a place full of singing birds where one can find monkeys, the Civet cat, Orchid trees, and wild honey. The inhabitants of this region find their identity in the jungle, so the coffee farmers do everything they can to protect it.
earthy notes, woody notes, floral, tobacco, hints of chocolate and caramel, creamy body, bright acidity, good balance