TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Merapi coffee farmers living at the mountain slope in Sleman, Yogyakarta have experimented with several post-harvest processing alternatives to extract richer flavors from their coffee beans.
According to Supardi, member of Sleman District`s Tunas Harapan coffee association from the Pentingsari Village, Merapi coffee is now available in three post-harvest processes; honey, luwak, and wine.
“All of them are Robusta and Arabica beans,” said Supardi on Wednesday, September 26, at the Merapi Coffee Festival 2018 in Sleman.
Merapi’s honey-processed coffee beans are known to leave a rather sweet aftertaste since it goes through a process that removes the bean’s skin and pulp and is left to dry inside a remaining layer of its mucilage (honey).
“It has a sweet character,” said Supardi.
Furthermore, Merapi’s luwak processed coffee goes through what other Luwak-processed coffee does, which is when a civet cat (luwak) eats a coffee cherry and it is naturally processed with the animal’s enzymes before the beans exit the luwak. However, the production of Merapi’s luwak coffee bean is highly limited to three ounces each month.
To maintain the quality of the beans that the luwak defecate, the cats would go through a fasting period one day prior to eating the hand-picked cherry beans that are also separated into two groups, Robusta and Arabica.
Supardi said that the Merapi luwak coffee is quite expensive since one kilogram is sold at a whopping price of Rp1 million, and is brewed for Rp100,000 to Rp200,000 for a single serving.
Lastly, Merapi coffee cherries are processed by allowing it to over-ripen on the shrub, thus giving the cherries a higher concentration of sugar and then are dried under the sun for 20-30 days.
PITO AGUSTIN RUDIANA (Sleman)