Indonesia’s 17,000 islands include many unique growing regions especially suited for growing coffee, places whose names have become iconic in the specialty coffee world.  There are also many other areas suitable for growing coffee, whose coffee is not being exported, or who have not yet been growing it.
Here are some of well established coffee regions and their unique flavor profiles.

(source: BTS Commodity)


Sumatra is the largest island of Indonesia, and its coffee is especially known for its ultra heavy body, earthy spice, and very low acidity. Flavor-wise it is the most easily distinguishable of the world’s great coffees. Sumatra green coffee has a beautiful deep blue-green color with the appearance of jade.

Characteristics: deep, full flavored, full-bodied with chocolate, spice, clean earth, and caramel/butterscotch notes. Slight notes of smoke and tobacco, and big, clean, lingering finish with chocolate and a hint of butterscotch.

Subregions:  One particular well-known type is Aceh Gayo: Aceh is the name of the region, and the Gayo are the people group with the coffee-growing expertise. There are various grades of coffee coming out of this origin, not all high quality, since they are able to produce so much volume. Typical flavors are: complex flavor, green, grassy, clean, and balanced.

Sumatra Mandheling is among the world’s finest coffees displaying rich flavor, extraordinary full body and distinctively vibrant, low-key acidity.

South Sulawesi

The Enrekang region has the characteristics of clean clear, smooth floral, complex, nice acidity, sweet, fruity, salty. Slightly earthy and herbal.

The Toraja region produces a complex flavor, fresh bright, chocolatey, clean, sweet, nice, herbal, spicy, excellent acidity, good balance. Astringent, grassy. Perhaps the best of Indonesian coffee from any region.


Java estate coffee has the special flavors of medium body, high acidity, rich aroma and flavor, and spicy tone. Several different processing methods are used on Java: fully washed, wet hulled, and natural.

Characteristics: Clean cup, sweet, fresh, high acidity, lemony, spicy, with an aftertaste of dark chocolate

The famous (or infamous?) “kopi luwak”, or civet cat coffee, is produced on Java as well. We really dislike its potential for exploitation of one of the few indigenous large mammals on Java, and Troy has never been a fan of the flavor.  However, from time to time we find a wild-harvested source which we do sell.  It’s expensive so you’d better really want it.


The coffee of the famed island paradise of Bali is usually processed with full washed dry hulling, giving it a citrus character.

Characteristics: Clean cup, sweet, fresh, high acidity, lemony, spicy, with an aftertaste of dark chocolate

Subregions:  The Kintamani Bali coffee beans are generally larger in size than the Arabica beans from other origins in Indonesia. Very good cup taste, similar to Java, although the Java normally provides a spicy note.


Flores coffee has complex and excellent flavor, spicy, good balance, fresh, clean, and the best examples of it also add a flavor that is mild, buttery, floral, and sweet (good for espresso).

Characteristics: full body, rich acidity, rich aroma and flavor, balanced taste

(Source of regional coffee descriptions: Coffee and Cocoa Research Center of Indonesia, “Pusat Penelitian Kopi dan Kakao Indonesia”).