I like coffee like I like myself: Sweet, hot, and Indonesian.

05.05.17 10:20 PM By Putri

Brought up in Indonesia, the 4th biggest coffee producer in the world, coffee has become a natural part of my daily life. It’s like one of the basic and fundamental things in life, next to health and donuts. I didn’t know how vital the role of a cup of good coffee in my life was until I immigrated to Canada.


It’s not like there is no coffee in Canada, there is. There is even this trend of fancy coffee machines with cute colorful pods and each color of the pods means a specific kind of coffee or coffee mix. The thing is, I don’t like instant coffee, and what makes these pods worse is the fact that some time they come in all kinds of flavors. One time I accidentally took a raspberry coffee mix from a pink pod and it tasted horrible. Let whoever made that flavor be roasted like a coffee bean on an internet forum, amen.


There are few specific things that I wouldn’t mind having in my coffee (and not necessarily all at once) like; sugar, milk, ice cubes, tears of my ex, whiskey, and Irish cream, but I mostly take my coffee as dark as one’s soul with a teaspoon of sugar. The only fruit flavor I can tolerate in my coffee is durian. Ever tasted durian coffee? It’s awesome, but it is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

In the beginning of our relationship, Nico admitted that he didn’t like coffee and I instantly reconsidered the future of our relationship and wondered what was wrong with him. Apparently, there’s nothing wrong with him. What was wrong was the coffee he had so far, especially since he’s been exposed to this nasty instant coffee called FOLGERS. It tastes bleak, if bleak has a taste.


Once I introduced him to Indonesian coffees, he immediately adopted coffee as the second vital liquid in his life. Mission accomplished. However, Nico thinks that I am a coffee-ist; that I can’t enjoy any coffee unless it’s from my country. Look, I am not a coffee connoisseur, but you can blindfold me and have me smell and taste cups of coffees, my preference will always fall for the one from Indonesia. I do know the coffee I like. I like coffee like I like myself: Sweet, hot, and Indonesian.


Let me recklessly throw here a selfmade infographic about Indonesian Arabica beans varieties and its characters.

PS: accuracy in this infographic is a subjective matter.

We went to Colombia which is famous for their Colombian coffee and we visited their coffee region just to learn about their coffee and coffee production (and for me to be acquainted with other than Indonesian coffee). The sad truth is Colombian first quality coffee beans go straight for export purpose, while the second quality (the imperfect beans) are left for national consumption. This means, if you want to have the best of Colombian coffee, buy it anywhere else than in Colombia itself.


What I found more tragic is the Colombians are so proud about their coffee yet they don’t seem to know how to enjoy their coffee other than taking it as a crucial export goods. Coffee based stuff (cookies, candies, etc..) are mostly only sold in the coffee triangle area, in another region it doesn’t seem to even exist.


In Bogota (and other cities we visited), traditional coffee sellers roam freely with their thermos (or a cart full of thermoses). They sell what they call as tinto, a flavorless drink that Colombians call as coffee. Tinto is extremely cheap (about 10 cents per cup), perhaps it because it is made of rejected coffee beans that has been roasted to oblivion and diluted with a bucket of water, which make it basically nothing but murky water served in a flimsy Styrofoam glass with a slight flavor of burnt coffee. It tastes awful, much like Lucifer piss; it tastes like punishment with a hint of bitterness and an undertone of damp old wool socks. How is this even acceptable for consumption in a country who has one of the best coffee in the world?.. atrocity, let me tell you that.

What I understood and experienced from this caffeine fueled travel, the best place to get a cup of good Colombian coffee in Colombia is at Colombian version of Starbuck-like coffee shops called Juan Valdez. Juan Valdez is not only the symbol of a good quality Colombian coffee, but also the name of the biggest café chain in Colombia. You can find it in most big cities like Colombia, Medellin, and Cartagena. You can also find afew good local coffee shops but it’s rare to find. Sad sad.


I bought few bags of import quality Colombian coffee from Juan Valdez café and from the local coffee plantation I visited in Salento so I could brew it the way I like, hoping I could finally enjoy a cup of coffee that made with other than Indonesian coffee beans, but unfortunately somehow the woody, light taste of Colombian coffee is just not fit for my palate. I brewed it in as many ways as possible; the way I was told how to at the coffee plantation we visited, I brewed it Turkish coffee style, and I even brewed it the way my dad prepares his coffe; Tubruk style. Yet still, I couldn’t find it as enjoyable as Indonesian coffee. Maybe it’s the bean, maybe it’s the way they roasted the bean, maybe it is just me, but I must say that Colombian coffee is not my fav. Perdoname senores.