We were lucky to be invited to a presentation but the Indonesian embassy in collaboration with ASCA (Australian Specialty Coffee Association) of Indonesian Coffees.
The night consisted of a few speeches, a couple of cuppings, followed by delicious snacks and mingling with folks from the local coffee scene and Indonesian representatives.
It was nice to meet the owner of the legendary Pelligirini’s on Bourke Street. Its not exactly known as a third wave coffee place, but it was really great to see such a respected member of the ‘old school’ participating in what I consider to be a fairly new approach to coffee in Australia.
The new approach I refer to is that of people involved in the coffee business taking a genuine and deep interest in where the raw material comes from, or ‘origin’ as it is referred to in the biz. Listening to the various representatives last night, one is quickly reminded that coffee represents a livelihood for real people on the ground. They have to deal with certain realities such as environmental factors, plus the costs associated with different harvesting and processing techniques.
The cupping was fun, but it was hard to get a real handle on the coffees on the table in that environment. The highlight was being given the opportunity to taste the legendary Torhja Luwak - a coffee bean that has been digested by the Civet Cat before being ‘harvested’. Apparently the most expensive coffee in the world. I’d like to say that it tasted like shit, but that joke has worn a bit thin around here. The taste didn’t blow me away, but it was nice enough - full bodied and flavoursome. I don’t want to dwell on it any further than that.