From Soil to Roaster
Coffee Grower and US Importer
Ph: (201) 743-9248,


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Sumatra & Java

Sulawesi & Bali

Flores & Timor Leste

Flores & Timor Leste

Old map of the East Indies in the Seventeenth centry by VOC
Old map of the East Indies in the Seventeenth centry by VOC

Many say that enjoying a coffee is not yet complete without understanding a little culture about the origin.

Now, let's take the time to go over the little history and geography about the coffees we carry. It was in the end of the seventeenth century that first coffee sedlings were brought in by the Dutch East India Company, known by its Dutch initials as VOC (Vereeningde Oost-Indische Company) to Batavia, what is known today as Jakarta, in the Java island which was part of the so called East indies back then. It took ten to twenty years for them to do the first export to the Netherlands.

In the years after, cultivations were spread out to the neighboring islands, Sumatra, Celebes, Bali and Flores.

We want to express special Thank You note to Wikipedia from whom we are quoting the paragraphs below.


The island is the world's 6th largest island, and the longest axis of the island runs approximately 1,790 km (1,100 miles) northwest - southeast, crossing the equator near the center. At its widest point the island spans 435 km (270 miles). The interior of the island is dominated by two geographical regions: the Barisan Mountains in the west and swampy plains in the east.

Photos of a traditional North Sumatra, a.k.a. Batak, culture.
Batak dancing Batak huts Batak music

To the southeast of Sumatra is Java island, separated by the Sunda Strait. To the north is the Malay Peninsula, separated by the Strait of Malacca. To the east is Borneo, across the Karimata Strait. West of the island is the Indian Ocean.The backbone of the island is the Barisan mountains chain, with the active volcano Mount Kerinci's 3,805 m (12,467 ft) the highest point, located at about the midpoint of the range. The volcanic activity of this region endowed the region with fertile land and beautiful sceneries, for instance around the Lake Toba which our Lintong comes from.

Most of Sumatra used to be covered by tropical rainforest, but economic development coupled with corruption and illegal logging has severely threatened its existence. Conservation areas have not been spared from destruction, either.


Java is an island of Indonesia and the site of its capital city, Jakarta. Once the center of powerful Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms, Islamic sultanates, and the core of the colonial Dutch East Indies, Java now plays a dominant role in the economic and political life of Indonesia. Home to a population of 170 million in 2008, it is the most populous island in the world, ahead of Honshu, the main island of Japan. Java is also one of the most densely populated regions on Earth.

volcano mountain smoke geologic landscape java
volcano mountain smoke geologic landscape java

Formed mostly as the result of volcanic events, Java is the 13th largest island in the world. A chain of volcanic mountains forms an east-west spine along the island. It has three main languages, though Javanese is dominant and is the native language of 60 million people in Indonesia, most of whom live on Java. Most residents are bilingual, with Indonesian as their second language. While the majority of Javanese are Muslim, Java has a diverse mixture of religious beliefs and cultures.

The origins of the name 'Java' are not clear. One possibility is that an early traveller from India named the island after the jáwa-wut plant, which was said to be common in the island during the time, and that prior to Indianization the island had different names. Java lies between Sumatra to the west and Bali to the east. Borneo lies to the north and Christmas Island to the south.

Java is almost entirely of volcanic origin; it contains no fewer than thirty-eight mountains forming an east-west spine which have at one time or another been active volcanoes. The highest volcano in Java is Mount Semeru (3,676 m). The most active volcano in Java and also in Indonesia is Mount Merapi (2,968 m). Further mountains and highlands help to split the interior into a series of relatively isolated regions suitable for wet-rice cultivation; the rice lands of Java are among the richest in the world.

Java is by far the most populous island in Indonesia, it is also one of the most densely-populated parts of the world. If it were a country, it would be the second-most densely-populated country of the world after Bangladesh, if very small city-states are excluded. Approximately 45% of the population of Indonesia is ethnically Javanese.


Portuguese first reached the island, formerly known and Celebes, in 1511 and they conquered the island and the city port, Makassar, in southern part of the island. The Portuguese used the port to transport spices, valuable commodities at the time, from the neighboring island to the west. The Dutch later conquered Sulawesi in the 17th century and renamed the island Kalossi. The Sulawesi island is located between the island of Borneo and Maluku.

Photo of Traditional Toraja House in Sulawesi, Indonesia
Photo of Traditional Toraja House in Sulawesi, Indonesia

Coffee from Sulawesi originated from the southern part of the island, a region called Toraja. Toraja coffee is produced on the slopes of the Sesean Mountain range which bisects north-central Toraja. The highest region of the mountain, has the altitude of 1,300 to 2,000 meters above sea level. We carry coffee from the highest region of this mountain.

The Toraja people traditionally build a house look like a ship that is known as Tongkonan, as seen in the picture here. Majority of these people are Christian with part of them still practising the ancestors' believe.


Bali is an Indonesian island in the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east.

With a population recorded as 3,5 Million in 2009, the island is home to the vast majority of Indonesia's small Hindu minority. About 93.18% of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, while most of the remainder follow others. It is also the largest tourist destination in the country and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking and music.

Three decades ago, the Balinese economy was largely agriculture-based in terms of both output and employment. Tourism is now the largest single industry; and as a result, Bali is one of Indonesia’s wealthiest regions. About 80% of Bali's economy depends on tourism. The economy, however, suffered significantly as a result of the terrorist bombings 2002 and 2005. The tourism industry is slowly recovering once again.

Balinese dancers perform a procession of Pelebon Cremation Ceremony in Ubud
Bali dancing Bali dancer huts

Although tourism produces the economy’s largest output, agriculture is still the island’s biggest employer; most notably rice cultivation. Crops grown in smaller amounts include fruit, vegetables, arabica coffee and other cash crops. Fishing also provides a significant number of jobs. Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce a vast array of handicrafts, including batik, wooden carvings, stone carvings, painted art and silverware. Notably, individual villages typically adopt a single product, such as wind chimes or wooden furniture.

Bali is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese percussion orchestra music, known as gamelan, is highly developed and varied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. Famous Balinese dances include pendet, legong, baris, topeng, barong, gong keybar, and kecak (the monkey dance). Bali boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world, with paid performances at thousands of temple festivals, private ceremonies, or public shows.

The Hindu New Year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. On this day everyone stays at home and tourists are encouraged to remain in their hotels. But the day before that large, colourful sculptures of ogoh-ogoh monsters are paraded and finally burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits. Other festivals throughout the year are specified by the Balinese pawukon calendrical system.


Flores is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, an island arc with an estimated area of 14,300 km² extending east from the Java island of Indonesia. The population is estimated to be around 1.5 million,and the largest town is Maumere. Flores is located east of Sumbawa and Komodo and west of Lembata and the Alor Archipelago. To the southeast is Timor. To the south, across the Sumba strait, is Sumba and to the north, beyond the Flores Sea, is Sulawesi.

On December 12, 1992, an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale occurred, killing 2,500 people near the island of Flores. The name "Flores" is a Portuguese word, meaning "flowers".

The west coast of Flores is one of the few places, aside from the island of Komodo itself, where the Komodo dragon can be found in the wild, and is part of the Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Kelimutu National Park is the second national park designated on Flores to protect endangered species. The Flores Giant Rat is also endemic to the Island.

Flores was also a habitat of an extinct dwarf form of the proboscidean Stegodon until approximately 18,000 years ago; it also formerly harbored giant rodents such as Verhoeven's Giant Tree Rat. It is speculated by scientists that limited resources and an absence of advanced predators drove the few species that lived upon the island to dwarfism and gigantism, respectively.

The Lake Kelimutu and traditional house of Flores.
Lake Kelimutu Flores House

In September 2004, at Liang Bua Cave in western Flores, paleoanthropologists discovered small skeletons that they described as a previously unknown hominid species, Homo floresiensis. These are informally named hobbits and appear to have stood about one metre tall. The most complete individual (LB1) is dated as 18,000 years old.

There are many languages spoken on the island of Flores, all of them belonging to the Austronesian family. In the centre of the island in the districts of Ngada, Nagekeo, and Ende there is what is variously called the Central Flores Dialect Chain or the Central Flores Linkage. Within this area there are slight linguistic differences in almost every village. At least six separate languages are identifiable. These are from west to east: Ngadha, Nage, Keo, Ende, Lio and Palu'e, which is spoken on the island with the same name of the north coast of Flores. Locals would probably also add So'a and Bajawa to this list, which anthropologists have labeled dialects of Ngadha.

Portuguese traders and missionaries came to Flores in the 16th century, mainly to Larantuka and Sikka. Their influence is still discernible in Sikka's language, culture and religion. In fact, the island's name, Flores, means "flowers" in Portuguese. Flores is almost entirely Roman Catholic and represents one of the "religious borders" created by the Catholic expansion in the Pacific and the spread of Islam from the west across Indonesia.

The most famous tourist attraction in Flores is Kelimutu; three coloured lakes in the district of Ende and close to the town of Moni. These crater lakes are in the caldera of a volcano, and fed by a volcanic gas source, resulting in highly acid water. The coloured lakes change colours on an irregular basis, depending on the oxidation state of the lake from bright red through green and blue. The latest colours (late 2004) were said to be turquoise, brown and black.

There are good snorkelling and diving locations along the north coast of Flores, most notably Maumere and Riung. However, due to the destructive practice of local fishermen using bombs to fish, and locals selling shells to tourists, combined with the after effects of a devastating tsunami in 1992, the reefs have slowly been destroyed.

Tourists can visit Luba and Bena villages to see traditional houses in Flores. Larantuka, on the isle's eastern end, is known for its Holy Week festivals. In addition to tourism, the main economic activities on Flores are agriculture, fishing and seaweed production. The primary food crops being grown on Flores are rice, maize sweet potato and cassava, while the main cash crops are coffee, coconut, candle nut and cashew.

Timor Leste

East Timor, also known as Timor-Leste (Tetum: Timor Lorosae; officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste) is a country in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor. The small country of 15,410 km²[5] (5,400 sq mi) is located about 640 km (400 mi) northwest of Darwin, Australia.

East Timor was colonized by Portugal in the 16th century, and was known as Portuguese Timor until Portugal's decolonization of the country. East Timor is one of only two predominantly Roman Catholic countries in Asia, the other being the Philippines.

We are working with the local Mubesse farmers to bring in their organic coffee within this season.

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