Wednesday, September 5, 2012 0 comments


Java bean" redirects here. For the software component, see JavaBean.
Java coffee is a coffee produced on the island of Java. In the United States the term "Java" by itself is, in general, slang for coffee. The Indonesian phrase Kopi Jawa refers not only to the origin of the coffee, but is used to distinguish the strong, black, very sweet coffee, with powdered grains in the drink, from other forms of the drink.
The Dutch began cultivation of coffee trees on Java (part of the Dutch East Indies) in the 17th century and it has been exported globally since. The coffee agricultural systems found on Java have changed considerably over time. A rust plague in the late 1880s killed off much of the plantation stocks in Sukabumi, before spreading to Central Java and parts of East Java. The Dutch responded by replacing the Arabica firstly with Liberica (a tough, but somewhat unpalatable coffee) and later with Robusta. Today Java's old colonial era plantations provide just a fraction of the coffee grown on the island, although it is primarily the higher valued Arabica variety.
Java’s Arabica coffee production is centered on the Ijen Plateau, at the eastern end of Java, at an altitude of more than 1,400 meters. The coffee is primarily grown on large estates that were built by the Dutch in the 18th century. The five largest estates are Blawan (also spelled Belawan or Blauan), Jampit (or Djampit), Pancoer (or Pancur), Kayumas and Tugosari, and they cover more than 4,000 hectares 
These estates transport ripe cherries quickly to their mills after harvest. The pulp is then fermented and washed off, using the wet process. This results in coffee with good, heavy body and a sweet overall impression. They are sometimes rustic in their flavor profiles, but display a lasting finish. At their best, they are smooth and supple and sometimes have a subtle herbaceous note in the aftertaste.
This coffee is prized as one component in the traditional "Mocha Java" blend, which pairs coffee from Yemen and Java. Some estates age a portion of their coffee for up to three years. During this time, the coffee is "monsooned", by exposing it to warm, moist air during the rainy season. As they age, the beans turn from green to light brown, and the flavor gains strength while losing acidity. These aged coffees are called Old Government, Old Brown or Old Java.
Java is also a source of kopi luwak, renowned as the most expensive coffee in the world. On Java, this variety is produced by feeding captive palm civets with ripe coffee cherries. The digestive tract of the civet removes the mucilage from the coffee beans.

Black tea is a type of tea that is more oxidized than the oolong, green, and whiteteas. All four types are made from leaves of the shrub (or small tree) Camellia sinensis. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor than the less oxidized teas. Two principal varieties of the species are used – the small-leaved Chinese variety plant (C. sinensis subsp. sinensis), used for most other types of teas, and the large-leaved Assamese plant (C. sinensis subsp. assamica), which was traditionally mainly used for black tea, although in recent years some green and white have been produced.
In Chinese languages and the languages of neighboring countries, black tea is known as "red tea" (紅茶, Mandarin Chinese hóngchá; Japanese kōcha; 홍차,Korean hongcha), a description of the colour of the liquid; the term black tea refers to the colour of the oxidized leaves. In Chinese, "black tea" is a commonly used classification for post-fermented teas, such as Pu-erh tea; in the Western world, "red tea" more commonly refers to rooibos, a South African tisane.
While green tea usually loses its flavor within a year, black tea retains its flavour for several years. For this reason, it has long been an article of trade, and compressed bricks of black tea even served as a form of de facto currency in Mongolia, Tibet, and Siberia into the 19th century. Although green tea has recently seen a revival due to its purported health benefits, black tea still accounts for over ninety percent of all tea sold in the West.
The other day I posted an article on an interesting tea plantation in East Java and mentioned that there are others in Java that are well worth visiting even if you are not a tea-guzzler.
I recalled a small article by Suherdjoko entitled ‘Living from and for tea’ explaining this great place south-east of Semarang on the slopes of Mount Kamulyan:
Thousands of women with weather-beaten faces donning cone-shaped sun hats and rubber boots pick young tea leaves from morning to late afternoon. These are the tea pickers of a plantation in Semarang, Central Java, who live from and for tea.
In the dewy morning, when cool winds blow through the branches of the mitoa (silky oak), the saman tree and thesuren (red cedar) that grow on the slopes of Mount Kamulyan, dozens of women tea pickers spread out through the plantation to begin work.
Armed with a packed lunch of rice with corn, young jackfruit, chili paste and a little salt, these women stay out in the fields all day long. They work with a smile, although they make only Rp 150,000-250,000 a month, depending on the volume of leaves they pick.
Generations of tea pickers have tended to such plantations in the area for the one-and-a-half centuries since 1840.

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