About the Plant
Coffee is a genus of flowering plants with its botanic name called Coffea whose seeds are called coffee beans that are used to make Coffee, a beverage derived from the type of processing and extraction of the coffee beans. It is a member of Rubiaceae family, forming shrubs or small trees, native to tropical and subtropical Southern Africa and Asia, includes Indonesia.
When grown in the tropics, coffee grows to a height of 3–3.5 m (10–12 feet). Commonly cultivated coffee species grow best at high elevations, but are nevertheless intolerant of freezing temperatures.
There are hundreds of species of coffea plants usually bloom 3 to 4 years after seedling and will be productive for about 40 to 60 years and even possibly up to 100 years. The flowers are white and strongly scented and the fruits takes 6 to 9 months to ripen.
From all many kinds of coffee beans sold in the market , there are only two main best varieties of Coffee , namely Arabica coffee and Robusta Coffee in which each of these varieties has a unique type and quality and having its own market.
Arabika coffee beans is a type of traditional coffee with the best flavor which is now cultivated in many parts of the world, from Latin America , Central Africa , East Africa , India , and Indonesia and best grown in tropical countries or subtropical. The coffee trees produced small sized berries and green to dark red in colors.
Robusta coffee can be considered as class 2 , it tastes more bitter , slightly acidic , and contains caffeine levels are much higher. In addition , the scope robusta coffee growing areas is wider than arabica coffee and must be grown at high altitudes . Many robusta coffee is grown in West Africa , Central Africa , Southeast Asia , and South America.
The usefulness of a cup of coffee, with its attractive taste and aroma is a high energy drink. Coffee also may reduce the risk of cancer , diabetes , gallstones , and various heart diseases (cardiovascular).
The word coffee itself comes from the Arabic : qahwah, Turkey: kahveh, Koffie in Dutch and Kopi in Indonesian.
The discovery of coffee was first discovered by Ethiopian in Africa about 3000 years ( 1000 BC ) ago or others said 850 AD who at first ate the beans mixed with animal fat and wine to meet the needs of protein and energy. These habits then continue to grow and spread to various countries in Africa. A few hundred years later they brought coffee beans passing through the Red Sea and arrived in Saudi Arabia and then Coffee started its modification as a nutritious drink and energy by various proccessing. The popularity of coffee was increasing along with the spread of Islam in that century until it reaches the region of North Africa , the Mediterranean , China, India and South East Asia. then continues to grow until now to be one of the most popular beverages in the world and consumed by various levels of society .
Coffee beans were brought to Europe in 1615 by a merchant from Venice and later on the Europeans began to cultivate them, especially the Dutch was one of the first European country successfully cultivated the plants in 1616 . Later in 1690 , the coffee beans were brought to the island of Java, Indonesia (formerly the Dutch East Indies) to be cultivated on a large scale.
In about late 1714 , King Louis XIV of French received Coffee tress as donation from the Dutch. 50 years later , there have been more than 18 million coffee trees with diverse varieties being cultivated in Martinik, Frech in which become the source of wealth one type of coffee in the world.
In 1727 , the Brazilian government initiative to lower the price of the coffee market in their country. They brought home the Coffee beans from French and these nations managed to cultivate coffee in very large scale so that can be consumed by all level of society in the country.
FORCED CULTIVATION SYSTEM IN INDONESIA and COFFEE FOR THE WORLD
It is a background. Actually, the existence of the racial Dutch East Indies colonial government had been causing resentment in the hearts of the natives. Uprising against the colonial government occurred everywhere. In 1830, the Dutch East Indies as colonial government nearly bankrupt after the biggest war involved in Java (Java War, 1825-1830), This forced cultivation system (Cultuurstelsel) was first implemented with the primary purpose of government to fill an empty cash of the colony, or close the deficit colonial government budget.
Sorting of coffee beans at a coffee company in Subang, West Java, Indonesia as one of mainstay export commodities from The Dutch East Indies (Photo Collection of COLLECTIE TROMPENMUSEUM)
In 1835 the Dutch East Indies Government imposed the Cultuurstelsel, “forced cultivation” to the indigenous in which each village must to set aside 20% of their lands (in its actual implementation more than 40% of the most fertile land) to plant export crops, mainly coffee, sugarcane, tobacco and Tarum (tilapia). The crops must be sold to the colonial government at very low price that has been ascertained. The villagers who do not have land must work 75 days in a year (20%) in the government-owned plantations. This forced cultivation had lifted up the Coffee export quantity from The Dutch East Indies (Indonesisa) in the beginning 20th century and later become the largest producer in the world, producing more than 400 thousand tons of coffee per year.
Having a cup of Coffee, a tradition hold by the Dutch Est Indies Goverment in 1920 , East Java (Photo collection of COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM)
The Forced Cultivation System had made the indigenous’s rice fields and farmlands become abandoned because of prolonged labor obligations. The heavy burden of having to give up some land and crops, paying taxes, following the forced labor, and bear the risk if the crop fails was increasing and led to a variety of load and causing prolonged physical and mental stress. Famine and disease arose everywhere so that the mortality rate increased dramatically. Famine caused fatalities that have resulted in a decline in indigenous population drastically.
Sun drying the Coffee beans. The Forced Cultivation on Java during the Dutch East Indies. A fact of history that led to increasingly poor and miserable for the indigenous for over a hundred years (Photo collection of COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM)
Assets of forced cultivation system was a major contribution to the capital of the golden age of colonial Dutch East Indies in 1835 to 1940.
The Forced Cultivation System (Cultuurstelsel) then stopped after emerging many criticism from the Liberals in the Netherlands and from the Dutch Humanist in Indonesia (Dutch East Indies). Forced Cultivation System then finally removed in 1870, although for the coffee plants outside Java continued until 1915. The program was run based on the land lease system.
After a very long history and long recovery during the post World War II, The Coffee plantation are now centered largely in three major islands of Indonesian archipelago, namely Sumatra, Sulawesi and Java. Today Indonesia ranks as third largest coffee producer in the world.
THE PRODUCTS AND DRINKING COFFEE IN INDONESIA
Today, coffee is enjoyed by people all over the world includes Indonesia who produces variety of Coffee products that available for all people with different level of society, anywhere and at any time. No wonder, when you travel within this country, you can find coffee drinks everywhere. The coffee shops are in every shopping centers, commercial buildings or office buildings so are the local coffee stalls scattered all over the places, even sold by street vendors at every corner of the streets and traditional market places.
There are many varieties of coffee products available in the country. Ground coffee and instant coffee packed in plastic sachets are practical and fit for once brewed, Just add 140 ml of boiling water. Coffee products in sachet is very diverse, there is coffee milk, white coffee, cappuccino, etc. at an affordable price, ranging from IDR.1000 – 3,500 ($ 0.10 to $ 0.35) per sachet, while the price of a cup of coffee in coffee Shops or Cafe ranged from $ 2.00 to $. 4.00 includes tax and service charge.
Actually, there are a lot of stories about the coffee I want to write here, but it will become a never-ending story, just like the coffee itself that has diversity of endless taste and enjoyment. This is just a bit of a story about coffee for the world.