Java Estate – Blue Batavia

In Stock: 131 Lbs
Java
West Java Preanger
Various smallholder farms
Blue Batavia - Grade 1
1300-1600 masl
Wet Hulled
Coffee cherry, cedar and cooked red pepper flavors; sweet with big acidity and a smooth mouthfeel.
Medium (City Roast)

Taste: Sweet, aromatic and full bodied, not as bold as a Sumatra, but very smooth with a cedar taste. This is the base of the famous “Mocha Java” blend (see below for more on this blend). It is a mild coffee that needs the boost of a Yemen or Ethiopian Yirgacheffe to bring it to life. If you like a gentle everyday kind of coffee this could be just that. On a side note, Java Estate is one of the most aromatic green beans in our inventory – a wonderful fragrance akin to black locust trees in bloom.

Roast: A medium hard bean, we recommend keeping this bean to a Medium roast.  We think it cups best just after 1st crack is complete, but not longer.

About: While coffee production in Java has historically been dominated by large estates, there are smallholders in the west who grow on smaller plots of land and deliver to collection points or mills for processing. Coffees in this region are delivered in cherry form and depulped the same day they arrive. They are fermented underwater, washed clean, and then given a pre-dry before being mechanically Wet-Hulled and dried mechanically for 6 hours.

Coffee was introduced throughout the islands of Indonesia by the Dutch in the 1600’s, and was first exported by the Dutch East India Company in the early 1700’s: Java was the first of the islands to cultivate coffee, and that long history with the plant on the land is part of the reason that coffee is generically known as “java.” Large Dutch-owned plantations were the norm, and the laborers and locals suffered financially and politically under the colonial regime: The 1860 novel Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company outlined many of the ways that the Dutch government and landowners abused and oppressed the Indonesian people, specifically on Sumatra and Java. Poverty, starvation, and destitution were common among coffee workers and within the indigenous communities.

In the 1860’s and 1870’s, a coffee-leaf-rust epidemic decimated the coffee market in Indonesia, and led to the abandonment of many estates by the Dutch; as the plantations broke up, laborers took up small plots of the land, eventually replanting most of the old-stock Arabica with Robusta coffee and various more disease-resistant hybrids. This land redistribution created the predominance of smallholder growers on the islands, which exists to this day. Taken as a whole, Indonesia is the fourth-largest coffee-producing country in the world, though Java—once a powerhouse producer and the primary origin for the world’s most sought-after supply—has not come near to reclaiming its position at the top of the list worldwide.

Javanese coffees have long been distinct for their earthy, savory, somewhat vegetal or herbaceous characteristics, in part contributed by the climate and the mix of varieties grown, but also due to a specific post-harvest processing style called Wet-Hulling, or locally known as Giling Basah, which imparts much of the unique qualities these coffees have.

Mocha Java: One of the most famous and misunderstood terms in coffee is “Mocha Java,” which historically refers to a blend made from coffee beans from Java and from Yemen. (Yemeni coffee has long been called “Mocha” after the main port, which is alternately spelled Mokha, Mokka, and Mocha, among other variations.) The deep chocolate and winey berry of the Yemen coffee was thought to be a perfect complement to the Javanese profile, with its savory complexity. However, throughout the centuries the words “mocha” and “java” came to be used colloquially for other coffee-related terms, causing much confusion among present-day consumers. Today, “mocha” is used to describe a beverage made with espresso and chocolate, harking back to the chocolaty characteristics Yemen’s coffee is famous for; while “java” rather generically acts as a stand-in for “coffee” in slang and popular usage.


 

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