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Inside a Coffee Plantation in Bali, Indonesia

Inside a coffee plantation Bali

After days spent wandering around idyllic Ubud, eating so much great food, playing with monkeys and doing a lot of walking, we were ready to see more of Bali.

With little time to spare, we opted for a full day tour that brought us to visit some temples, to see Mount and lake Batur and with a visit to a Bali coffee plantation thrown in.

Having discovered Lombok’s gritty coffee and falling in love, a trip to a coffee plantation sounded perfect.

Wandering around a coffee plantation in Bali

When we arrived, a guide led us around a small, lush garden area, pointing out the different plants growing.

Learning on the coffee planation Bali - thetraveloguer

There were different coffee plants, aloe vera, cinnamon, durian, jackfruit, ginger and more, all growing side by side. I even saw a pineapple growing for the first time, which I thought was really cool!

Pineapple growing in a coffee plantation Baili - thetraveloguer

The different stages of coffee making at a Bali coffee plantation

After our stroll through the plants, we were shown how coffee is made. It was really interesting to see the beans evolve over the different stages of creating coffee.

Coffee growing in a coffee plantation bali

First, the ripe coffee cherries are picked from the various coffee plants. The cherries are then left to dry out in the sun.

coffee cherries drying out at the coffee plantation bali

Once the cherries have dried out, the coffee bean inside is then removed. In the picture below, you can see cinnamon, cloves, ginger and vanilla from the coffee plantation all drying out too.

Coffee plantation Bali - coffee beans, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger and clove

The beans are then roasted. In this case, they were roasted in a pan over a smokey fire.

roasting coffee beans in a coffee plantation in Bali - the traveloguer travel blog

Once the coffee beans are roasted, they look like the normal coffee beans you see in a coffee shop espresso machine.

roasted coffee beans at the coffee plantation in Bali

The dried and roasted coffee beans are then ground up, using the tools below.

coffee grinder in Bali coffee plantation - the traveloguer travel blog

The result is lovely ground coffee that is then packaged and sold. Mmm, mmm!

coffee plantation Bali - dried, roasted and ground coffee

Meeting the maker of the most expensive coffee in the world – Kopi Luwak

Did you know Bali is famous for the most expensive coffee in the word, that’s made from coffee beans found in the excrement of a small animal that looks like a cross between a ferret and a raccoon?

The Asian palm civet is responsible for creating kopi luwak, an expensive delicacy. What makes it so special? The fact that the beans are ingested by the civet, who then poops it out. The shy creatures eat only the best coffee cherries and excrete them without digesting the bean inside. The coffee bean is chemically altered after making its way through the civet’s intestines. Yum.

Luwak coffee from the cevit cat - Bali coffee plantation tour

The coffee has a deep, complex and rich taste, with no acidity and hints of caramel. We were lucky enough to meet one of the civets.

There is a dark side to the luwak coffee trade. As its popularity grows, there are concerns about civets being kept in captivity and made to eat only coffee beans. In the past, the civet coffee beans were collected in the wild, but that is no longer the norm. You can still source ethical luwak coffee in Bali.

Tasting coffee at a Balinese coffee plantation

Next up came the most important part of our coffee plantation tour, the coffee tasting!

testing tea and coffee at Bali plantation

We were brought different cups containing coffee and tea. There was the option to sample the kopi luwak, but we chose not to pay extra for the pleasure, such a regret!

As a budget backpacker, I’ve always had to watch my money carefully. I usually don’t care if I’m on a shoestring budget so long as I’m out in the world, seeing new places. But sometimes, what seems like a big splurge at the time (like this coffee which cost more than a nights’ accommodation) is entirely worth it, and if you don’t do it, you will regret it.

Off the top of my head, I really regret not going to see the orangutans in Indonesia. Although it would have screwed my budget to a point that I would have been likely to run out of spending money in India, looking back now, I wish I had made it work. There’s a very fine line to balance as a budget backpacker; being careful with your money so you can travel longer, and at the same time knowing when to splurge for an amazing experience.

Anyway, no one in our group splurged on the coffee. We did try a number of coffees and teas, including ginger tea and ginseng coffee.

Coffee time at Bali coffee plantation

Feeling revived after our samples, we made our way through the gift shop before continuing on our tour. A trip to a coffee plantation in Bali is interesting and enjoyable, and when it’s part of a larger tour its a really nice addition to the day.

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    sher
    April 16, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    i am a serious coffee addict! will have to check this out when i go to bali.

    Sher
    http://www.shershegoes.com

  • Reply
    Dani
    April 16, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Very interesting to see the process of making coffee. Thanks for sharing with us.
    – Dani
    Dani recently posted…Why you shouldn’t miss Phong Nha when backpacking Vietnam (Through the eyes of a backpacker)My Profile

  • Reply
    Diana
    April 16, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Dying to try Kopi Luwak!

  • Reply
    Claire
    April 16, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    This looks great fun – I’ve got a new obsession with coffee making after spending time in Guatemala!

    I liked the point you raised about drawing a line between budget and doing the most important things. It’s hard to make the distinction sometimes! I always try and draw a list up of the most important things I want to do in each place and work around that. Normally works for me!

  • Reply
    Nancy
    April 17, 2016 at 5:48 am

    An article after my own heart! Its so much fun to find out more about our little passions, like coffee. But don’t think I want to try the one that little animals contributed to.
    Nancy recently posted…Central Oregon A Photographer’s Dream RouteMy Profile

  • Reply
    Carol Colborn
    April 17, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    My husband is a serious coffee drinker and has tasted even that most expensive variety! Great post!

  • Reply
    Angela
    April 17, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    We love finding unique things to do while traveling and this sounds like a perfect excursion! Love that they give samples at the end.. probably so you get hyped up and ready to buy, buy, buy! LOL
    Angela recently posted…DT Monthly Recap – March 2016My Profile

  • Reply
    Connie Reed
    April 18, 2016 at 2:47 am

    I am not a coffee drinker (my husband is the coffee addict in our family), but I would love to see a coffee plantation and also see how the other spices are grown.
    Connie Reed recently posted…Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City: Trendy SophisticationMy Profile

  • Reply
    Theresa
    April 18, 2016 at 3:29 am

    I’ve always been curious as to the taste of the Kopi Luwak. Too bad you didn’t try it. Nonetheless, you coffee plantation experience was neat. I went on one in Costa Rica and regretted it. All I saw were teenagers and even young children manning the fields. 🙁

  • Reply
    Jessica
    April 18, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    I can smell it up to here. Lol. I can remember my coffee visit to Indonesia as well but not in Bali and I could still feel the excitement every step I had when we tour. Glad you tried it!

    • Reply
      Christine Maguire
      April 21, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      Where did you do yours? I’d love to do another one, abyexcuse for coffee!

  • Reply
    Susan cooper
    April 21, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    I had read about luwak coffee and the palm civets before. A little unappealing, but I’d try it. Makes you wonder though, doesn’t it, about the first people who thought yum I bet those those coffee beans would taste delightful. They must have really needed some coffee that morning. Lol
    Susan cooper recently posted…Matchbook Winery Arsonist Chardonnay: #WineMy Profile

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