Indonesia Flores coffee, pronounced In-doh-NEE-zhuh FLOR-ess, hails from the beautiful island of Flores in Indonesia. Located within the Indonesian archipelago in Southeast Asia, the island boasts a diverse landscape, including lush forests and towering volcanoes. With coffee farms situated at altitudes ranging from 1,200 to 1,800 meters above sea level, Flores offers unique growing conditions for coffee cultivation. An interesting fact about Flores coffee is that it is often overshadowed by its more famous counterpart, Sumatran coffee, but it is gradually gaining recognition for its distinct flavors and quality.
Coffee has been grown on the island of Flores for centuries, with its cultivation dating back to the 1700s when Dutch colonizers introduced the crop to the region. The island’s volcanic soil, high altitude, and favorable climate allowed for the successful cultivation of the Arabica coffee plant. Over the years, Flores coffee has developed a rich history and a unique identity, distinguishing itself from other Indonesian coffees.
In Flores, coffee farming is predominantly carried out by smallholder farmers who own plots of land ranging from one to two hectares in size. These farmers typically employ traditional and organic farming practices, such as intercropping, where coffee is grown alongside other crops like cacao and vegetables, which helps promote biodiversity and soil health. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides is minimal, allowing for a more environmentally friendly approach to coffee cultivation.
As for processing methods, the most common technique used in Flores is the wet-hulling method, known locally as "Giling Basah." This method involves removing the coffee cherry's skin and pulp before allowing the beans to ferment in water for a short period, usually up to 24 hours. The beans are then washed to remove any remaining mucilage and partially dried to a moisture content of around 30-35%. At this stage, the beans are hulled to remove the parchment layer, after which they are dried further to reach the desired moisture content of around 12%. This unique processing method contributes to the distinct flavor profile of Flores coffee.
Indonesia Flores coffee is known for its complex and intriguing flavor profile. The beans typically produce a medium-bodied cup with a smooth, velvety mouthfeel. One of the most common flavors found in Flores coffee is a sweet, chocolatey note, often accompanied by hints of caramel or toffee. Additionally, these coffees are known for their fruity undertones, with traces of tropical fruits such as mango, papaya, and citrus. Flores coffee also possesses a pleasant, lingering finish with a subtle earthiness, reminiscent of its volcanic origins.
With its rich history, sustainable farming practices, and unique flavors, Indonesia Flores coffee is gradually gaining recognition on the global stage. As more specialty coffee enthusiasts discover the island's delicious and distinct coffee offerings, the future looks promising for Flores coffee farmers and their exceptional beans.