I think its supposed to be coffee thats been roasted but they stop before the first crack, and supposed to be higher in caffeine :-D because its not been roasted out. I'll put money on it that its an aquired taste.
Yes Quink you're correct it is dropped before the first crack. Since it is under roasted is does have a different taste. In fact it can be quite bitter since it is under roasted. Most that drink it in my neck of the woods drown it with extra, extra flavored syrups as to hide the taste. They mainly want that jolt or buzz it creates. Not to mention the fact that it totally reeks havoc on grinders because the beans are so hard. A lot of roasters will not produce this coffee. But I guess if customers really like it, roasters will continue to produce it. As for a comparison with black coffee, I prefer a coffee that has been roasted as it is intended to be.
In Malaysia the original coffee that is consumed called Kopi are Robusta beans roasted sometimes in a wok but they are using primitive constructed roasters similar to BBQ roasters.
The coffee is a dark roast, pretty uneven in color profile.
After the coffee has reached desired color, margarine and sugar is added and roast continues until the beans are black and the sugar has over caramelized.
Donâ€™t try that in your Drums Guys.
The so called White coffee is a normal medium dark roast without the margarine and sugar treatment.
Itâ€™s normal Coffee.
Now as to how the name came about there are two theories.
One, it is relatively brighter in color than the black stuff.
Two, it is coffee how the â€œwhite manâ€
Yeah pretty similar here in Indonesia. The bulk of the coffee (kopi) you find for sale outside big supermarkets is robusta. Normally its roasted with some corn thrown in and (as Maxtor mentioned) often the finishing touches are a lump of butter and some salt added. This is the most traditional way of roasting and unlike Malaysia most of the roasting is done in small drum roasters...often turned by hand for up to 3 hours! The coffee produced is an acquired...or sometimes impossible to acquired taste! Generally the kopi is prepared by grinding it very fine. Most markets use mechanised stone bur grinders. The powder these things can produce is incredible...makes my Mazzer look like its throwing out chunks! Of course a percentage of the powder is ground stone, as the stones in these grinders last only 2-3 weeks. I have got some pictures of a local roaster and one of these grinders, powered by a Yannma boat engine, in action if anyone is interested in seeing.
Anyway once the coffee is ground it is called Kopi bubuk (literally powdered coffee). To prepare a drink several spoons are heaped into a glass with several spoons of sugar and boiling water is added. Indonesians can not generally stomach coffee without sugar. It is always drunk black, probably due to the cost and general unavailability of milk.
Malayasia is certainly a market that is ahead of Indonesia, but behind Singapore, in terms of development of the specialty coffee industry. There are some good local roasters in KL, as well as JB, Melaka and Penang. There are also literally hundreds of small roasters that follow the methods descriped by Maxtor. In Penang there is a small coffee shop on nearly every corner...mostly run by the Chinese these places are often open fronted with a jumble of tables and chairs occupied by older Chinese, Malays and Indians passing the time away. I had a chance a few years ago to spend a couple of days in one of these places in Penang...it was fascinating. The greens in those days, and I am sure know too, were robustas from Lampung and Takengon in Sumatra. The place I spent in cooked all their beans, rather than using a roaster. They used huge woks over LPG burners. It was damn hot, with very little ventilation out the back where they cooked up. In this particular place they added butter but also some herbs to the coffee. This place, although small, went through quite a volume of green beans.
Aroma is pretty famous in Bandung, but surprisingly not so outside of West Java. I have visited the roastery a couple of times...interesting and very tradditional! Arlini probably does know the guy, I will ask her for you later today. Its actually not that uncommon for roasters here to hold beans for a long time. I know a roaster in kota that has a large stock of aged greens...the oldest (no kidding) being a 40 year old east Java estate coffee! I have been fortunate to be able to get my hands on some of this aged coffee, but not in commercial quantities.
Sounds like you are familiar with Indo and Malaysia, where are you based? Did you spend time here?
I am Austrian, but I spent about 2 month in the mid nineties in Bandung for a hotel opening. How long have you been there now?
I also have an acquaintance in Jakarta who roasts since a long time on a Dietrich and he has a grocery store attached now.
The funny thing is he actually imports Indonesian Coffee from the US because he only gets crap on the local market.
Never had time to go there and check it out but on my last visit to Jakarta that’s what he told me. Do you have similar experiences?
I know that the owner of Aroma Coffee actually buys by tree, meaning he tells the grower to pack coffee specially for him and tells him from which tree in his plantation he wants the coffee to be from. He told me that that is what he does in Bali, However I don’t know if he does that in other areas too. Most of the coffee grown in Indonesia is I believe government related ownership. Where do you get your coffee from?
No, we are fairly lucky. We have a very good relationship with the growers we deal with...its a lot of hard work but we manage to have very good quality arabica available to us. We do not deal too much with the government estates- as you have mentioned 1/. quality is variable plus 2/. most of the greens are pre-sold....so if you want to source locally either you need to pay way above the market value or you end up getting the lower grade green beans.
Balinese coffee is interesting. For so long most of the greens coming out of the island were robusta. These days there are significant plantings of arabica too. Problem is most of the arabica is coop grown...a co-op in many cases can include growers over a wide geograpical area. The cherries are collected and dried at various processing facilities and of course the cherries from the member farms are mixed in together. The quality can be quite hit and miss. After this the processed greens are on-sold to brokers where they are again mixed and sorted. This is probably why Aroma selects from just one particular grower...therefore they can have a better control over the processing and quality of the green. A particular Indonesian small hold problem is processing...the drying and milling of the bean.