At a Balinese Coffee Estate

by Puru


Jan 4, 2015

It has been long since we posted about our Bali trip. Last seen, we had just come out of the majestic rock cut temples of Gunung Kawi and were driving towards Mount Batur.Β 

Balinese Coffee Plantation-10

This face welcomed us at the Coffee Plantation. One thing you can find everywhere in Bali is art…

Further, on our way, Wayan stopped at a coffee estate names Satriya (Kshatriya) Coffee Estate to give us a taste of the traditional Balinese coffee. Now green is a colour which is omnipresent in Bali and this coffee estate was no exception. The plantation was a mini forest set on the slopes of a hill and had a treasure trove of different varieties of plants and herbs, many of which are endemic to the island.



We were assigned a guide who showed us around and made our acquaintance with many plant species, some of which are endemic to Bali. It was drizzling slightly and holding the umbrella in one hand and camera in other, we listened in awe to the bounties Mother nature has bestowed on us.

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Coffee beans .. of both genders we supposed πŸ˜‰

We were given a live demonstration of how coffee is roasted, grounded, processed and made ready for use, with some interesting anecdotes. For example, we did not know that coffee beans are categories by their gender, male and female. While the male coffee beans have a stronger taste and aroma, the female coffee beans are smoother. It is here that we were introduced to the Luwak Coffee, about which you will read a little later.

Our hosts were kind enough to let us roast the coffee beans in the supervision of a smiling old woman who was obviously amused at the glee with which we performed the tasks.

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An Old woman was roasting coffee beans in a big kadaai

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Sonna soon joined

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While Ekta busied herself with grounding the coffee

Luwak Coffee

At Satriya Coffee Estate, we were introduced to the Luwak Coffee, the most exotic and perhaps, expensive variety of coffee in the world. During the Dutch era, many of the Balinese would work in the Dutch Coffee estates in the mountains.

Balinese Luwak Coffee

Luwak (Poop) Coffee

Now Coffee was a precious commodity in those days and the workers were forbidden to keep any coffee beans for their own consumption, even those which fell on the ground. However, as the human nature goes, they soon found a way around this rule, in the most ingenious way.

Luwak (Civet) is a small mammal which is as fond of Coffee as we humans are, and eats the coffee beans. However, Luwak’s stomach can only digest the skin of the beans and it excretes the harder beans. This gave the plantation workers an idea – they started collecting the droppings of Luwak, would collect the coffee beans from it, do the washing and cleaning and then started using it in their drinks.

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This Luwak slept happily in a cardboard box, while it rained outside ..

It was soon found out that the enzymes in the stomach of the Luwak had a some magical effect on the coffee beans, which made the “poop coffee” smell and taste better than regular coffee.Β So what started as a poor man’s attempt to get some coffee for himself, turned out to be the most expensive and rare variety of coffee, which sometimes sells for as much as $3000 per kg!

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Drinks time ! The free sample πŸ™‚

After the course in coffee-making, we were taken to a make shift shack overlooking the valley where free samples of coffee and tea were available for tasting, in almost 25 flavours. Fragrances and tastes varied, while one coffee tasted like vanilla, other was sourer than lemon. The uses also varied, some varieties had medicinal properties while some others were potent aphrodisiacs, in words of Wayan – to keep mama happy and papa at peace.

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We had all of these, and were quite happy with our capacity πŸ™‚

All this generosity hadΒ  a financial angle too. At the end of the plantation tour, we were taken to a shop where we could buy the items we had tasted before, plus other products from the forests. There was no compulsion to make a buy,Β  and we in fact bought some items willingly, including a pack of the famous Balinese coffee. It actually is a potent one, if not a downright turn on ..

Check better resolution photographs of the Balinese Coffee Estate at Flickr

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  • Location: Satria Agrowisata,Β Tampaksiring, Bali
  • Timing: 9am-6-pm
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Camera Fee: Free

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About the Author


Puru is an IT Project Manager from Pune, India and an avid blogger. He is passionate about travel, photography, cinema and books. He blogs on Shadows Galore, Art House Cinema, The Mutinous Indian and Antarnaad.

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    • Puru

      Though Civet looks like a cat, it is not from the feline species. It is more of a mongoose but not even that. Quite a rare mammal in India. You can see its pics in the Satpura Night Safari πŸ™‚

  1. umashankar pandey

    You seem to be having a blast of life roaming around! I am grateful for the reflected shine you bring to my laptop screen. I am glad to see a bhadbhoojan, an Indian to boot β€”they are a part of my childhood memories. At the moment, I am through a cup of strong coffee too, which I am sure is not Luwak poop…

    • Puru

      Thanks a lot USP. Regarding Luwak Coffee, I am sure you will politely refuse the offer as we did πŸ˜›

  2. Nisha

    Bali! Gorgeous pictures as usual. I also have heard about Luwak coffee being the most expensive one.

    Wishing you a year full of even more travel. πŸ™‚ Better your performance this year. πŸ˜›

    • Puru

      Finally you were able to comment πŸ™‚

      I sincerely hope that we are able to travel more this year, with or without the job πŸ™‚

      • Nisha

        That’s the spirit! πŸ™‚ And Hey! I do comment off & on. πŸ™‚ I read too many blogs & its difficult to comment on each one of them so try to comment when I feel I have something to say…

        • Puru

          No No ! By the commenting thing, I was referring to the issues you were having with Disqus. I still can’t access them on my Chrome and have to use Firefox to reply. πŸ™‚

          • Nisha

            Oh that still happens at times. Right now I am using Chrome. πŸ™‚ But Disqus has its own mood. I couldn’t find any logic till now.

  3. Jumbodium

    Wonderful snaps. Looks so lively. Real good photography. Loved it.


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