A Romantic Journey to the Old Java Coffee Plantations

a romantic journey to the old java coffee plantations

kawisari plantation

Blitar, the closest town to Mount Kelud volcano, has been known as one of the most powerful and well-respected volcanoes in Java, and is still active to this day.
Around the Regency of Blitar, there are various plantations of all sizes that have been there since centuries. The commodities planted are usually coffee, tea, rubber, clove, and cocoa. The Kawisari plantation, one of the oldest coffee plantations in Java, have been supplying the highest quality of Java coffee beans to the four Tugu hotels in Malang, Blitar, Lombok and Bali, as well as the five restaurants of Tugu in Jakarta.

On these hundreds of hectares of lush lands, not just coffee but various kinds of tropical and subtropical plants. The harvesting season each year runs from May to October, and is complemented by many rituals and ceremonies inherited from the Javanese Hindu and
Moslem cultures. The heads and leaders of the plantation must visit several sacred locations
within the plantation and present offerings to the spirits as a sign of gratitude for good harvests and prosperity.

In 1830, Dutch East Indies Government required a great amount of money to fund the big war in Java. On the other hand they did not receive enough income even though 40 percent agriculture tax levied to the local people. At the time the locals only planted rice, cassava and corn for their basic daily need and they only commanded cheap prices.
Cultuur stelsel or cultivation was issued under the Commando of Governor Van Den Bosch (1830-1835). Under this policy, the locals were required to plant export commodities on at least 20% of their land such as coffee, sugar canes, pepper, replacing rice, cassava and corn. Then they had to sell all their harvests to the Dutch government at cheap prices, in addition to the 40% tax levied.

For those who did not own any land, they had to work for 66 days per year in government’s land and their work payment would be deducted from the tax they had to pay.
In between 1835-1870, Java people suffered heavily, resulting in a large number of casualties because of the policy. One area in Java with population of 89.000 people became only 9000 people due to this policy. The prominent people of the Dutch Government were the ones who enjoyed the results from the plantations.

In 1860 many politicians in the Dutch Parliament gave more attention to human rights. They started to change the system with a more civilized one. In 1870, The Cultuur Stelsel ended officially. At the same year, they passed the law of “Agrarische Wet” or “Agrarian Law” which allowed the permit of ownership of big sized plantation by individuals.
Thus the history of Kawisari plantation started officially in 1870 and it has been producing one of the finest Java Robusta coffee beans ever since.

This is a fascinating voyage to the real East Java, to a secret paradise of majestic mountains, green hills and valleys little known to people outside of these tiny villages. The coffee from this plantation, known as WIB 1 or West Indische Brading grade 1, is served at all Tugu Hotels and Tugu Dining Jakarta. The Kawisari plantation is also the natural home to the luwak, the famous Indonesian chivet cats that only select the very finest of fine coffee beans. Kawisari 100 % Premium grade pure Kopi Luwak made from the inner berry of the finest beans, which are then eaten and passed through the digestive tract of the chivet cats.. These hand selected beans are then roasted using ways of tradition, with the highest Javanese skills that the area are famous for, handed from one generation to another throughout decades. It has delivered complex flavors and a perfect cup of the worlds most premiere exotic and rare Luwak coffee. Please book your inquiry to blitar[at]tuguhotels[dot]com or malang[at]tuguhotels[dot]com