Bali God Mountain
When most of us think of Bali we imagine a tropical paradise blessed with sun-drenched white sandy beaches.
Those fortunate enough to have been may reminisce about spectacular dive sites off Nusa Lembongan Island, the gastronomic delights of Ubud's restaurants or haggling with merchants along the streets of Kuta. The more adventurous would have tried and will surely recall their first taste of Bali coffee, the traditional Robusta based brew replete with coffee dregs at the bottom of the cup. An experience guaranteed to leave a lasting impression much like the inescapable scent of clove cigarettes which fill your lungs at Bali International airport. Not to be confused, October's Coffee of the Month is of a much higher quality and sure to provide a satiating experience, the Bali God Mountain.
The origins of coffee in Bali dates back to the early 20th century when traders from nearby Lombok introduced coffee plants to the island. Small scale production quickly spread in the high altitude areas of the Kintamani region where rich volcanic soils, mild temperatures and plentiful rain proved ideal growing conditions for coffee trees.
An eruption of the Gunung Agung volcano in 1963 severely depleted Bali's Arabica crop with production levels dropping significantly for 15 years. This prompted the Balinese government to redevelop Arabica coffee during the 1970's and early 1980's by providing Arabica coffee seedlings to farmers. However, Arabica coffee remains a small portion of Bali's total coffee crop to this day. Of the 15,600 tonnes of coffee produced in Bali in 2007, Robusta accounts for over 80% of production.
Most coffee farms in Kintamani are family owned and belong to traditional farming organizations called Subak Abian which acts as a rural co-operative and is based on the Hindu philosophy of Tri Hita Karana meaning three happiness causes. This philosophy is based on the three values of dedication to the gods, maintaining good relations with other human beings and the protection of the environment. The Subak Abian plays an important role in farming and religious activities and includes a written set of traditional rules called the awig awig which determines individual behavior.
Farming techniques around Kintamani is relatively uniform as a result of the Subak Abian and government guidelines. There is a strong emphasis on quality and further improvement. The religious value of protection of the environment for example, results in organic farming practices with farmers often producing their own "fertilizer" where manure sourced from their own farm is applied to their coffee trees and pesticide is not used. Price incentives are also in place to motivate farmers to only pick red cherries during harvest to ensure the best quality coffee. There are also guidelines which cover the sorting of coffee cherries, harvest, pulp removal, fermentation time, washing and drying, storage, hulling and sorting. Quite clearly there is a philosophy in Kintamani which inspires good quality coffee.
Our Guest Taster:
Partner Cafe Lee and Me
James is a young barista with a huge wealth of talent- much like Lee and Me to the cafe scene in Wollongong. These guys are causing a serious stir in "The Gong" - great reviews on their coffee as well as their food. After many years in the making- researching and training, Lee and Me is certainly the finest coffee in Wollongong and all their baristas are very dedicated to their cause.
James is on the LaMarzocco in Lee and Me quite often and his coffee pouring is sublime. He started pouring coffee alongside Damion Alves- the first Roaster of Campos Coffee who now runs his espresso bar in Southern New South Wales. Damion has done a great job in helping hone James' skills and the outcome is delightful to the drinkers of the South. James is a sponge for information and is one of the few baristas keen enough to call in to our roastery on his days off to learn more independently. We have much respect for this man and look forward to seeing him go far.
|Country Of Origin
||Kintamani, Mengani Factory
||Chocolate and tobacco
||heavy and strong
||heavily dominated by tobacco and chocolaty sweetness with a hint of pepper and malt
||smooth and syruppy
||lingers of bitter sweet flavours with an earthy, spicy quality similar to Sulawesi coffee.