Antipodean Cafe only uses quality coffee beans roasted at our own Cafes by Indonesia's top specialty roaster, Merdeka Coffee. Why is our coffee so good? Because Merdeka Coffee only purchases coffee beans directly from our partners, who are small-holding growers, rather than going through the brokerage system.
Through Merdeka Coffee's network of Antipodean Cafes, we'd served over 2,365,000 million cups as at April this year... mainly to fussy expatriates. We reckon that if our coffee survives the taste buds of our demanding patrons, the coffee must be pretty good!
Below are some of the specialty coffee beans available in our cafes:-
Arabica grown above 3000m in Aceh, the most northern province in the Indonesian Archipelego.
The last decade has been huge for the people of Aceh. First the devastating quake that took so many lives around the North-West Coast and more recently the new peace accord.
The bean is organic and fair traded- our aceh arabica coffee is sourced from a number of small coop growers from around the Takengon area. An earthy, fruity taste with a hint of fine acidity and wild field mushrooms. An underlying Vanilla and cinnamon. A favourite for beginning the day, with a lighter to medium body and a clean palette.
Grown at a reasonable altitude on the slopes of the mountains that straddle Northern Bali. The height the coffee is grown determines it is not going to produce some of the clarity and flavors seen in our other Indonesian offerings.
However, this is still a decent cup. It exhibits traces of Cedar and Oak in the cup, with a soft wine finish underscored by tangerine and light chocolates.
One of our more popular local coffee blends is the Breakfast Blend. This coffee is used by a number of our institutional buyers and because of this we often receive emails from hotel guests, cafe clients asking how they can purchase the blend. We now offer this coffee via our Merdeka Coffee website...or of course its available at Antipodean in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta or Sydney
The coffee is a blend of 3 different Indonesian origins. It is well suited as a breakfast blend- with a lighter body, yet quite distinctive cupping characteristics. It would be no secret to most to know that Java is the backbone of this blend- however the other two coffees must remain a well guarded secret!
Coffee is in many ways like grapes used to make table wine. By this I mean year by year climate change (more rain, less sunshine hours) can change the cupping qualities of origins. This is exciting for a roastmaster as it allows him/her to be able to experiment to bring out better and bolder blends.
To date its been years where Indonesia has seen above average rainfall in the origins that have already harvested (Sumatra). This has resulted in a bumper harvest, but one with far different coffee cupping characters from last year. As a result we have blended a new all Indonesian coffee espresso blend that is getting rave reviews. Are we raving on ourselves too much? Maybe...but bear in mind this exact blend came runner up in Food Hotel Asia 2012- beating all before it bar the Kiwi blend. Well...theres one for us to aim for in 2014!
The existing blend is roasted a tad darker than 2011's blend. It has a beautiful choc-nutty aroma and has plenty of body. The herbacious pallete typical of an Indonesian espresso is still there, as is the cup sweetness that makes the espresso perfect as a single/double shot, or as the base for a latte or cappuccino.
While our traditional espresso is a favourite of many, the new age drinkers indicated to us that they would like a darker, nuttier espresso. This all arabica blend achieves just that. It has a deep resonance that comprises the chocolates of Java with the mild, musty, earthy qualities of the Sumatrans.
To make things interesting there are several other beans in this blend that add aroma, taste and body to the cup. The result is a very pleasing espresso that appeals to the palate of the newer coffee drinkers amongst us.
We take take some of the very best Arabica varietals for this seasonal espresso blend . Three of the beans in this blend originate from highland villages in Sumatra.
These beans are rare and the crop yield is so low, that our annual roasting uses the entire supply . The Espresso is a delectable mix of flavor’s- aniseed, brown sugars, excessive fruitiness and syrupy molasses. The Indonesian beans selected for this blend give a complimentary mix of body, sweetness and balance that makes this espresso one of our cafe perennial favourites.
This Arabica cups soft, with hints of florals, chocolate fudge and mild, sweet nectars. Its very low in acid and clean on the palette. We have sourced this coffee from a family coop growing coffee near Ruteng in Flores.
The coffee trees that this coffee comes from were originally brought here by the Portuguese. Over time the villagers have grafted stock from Java as well to produce a hybrid Arabica. I first encountered Flores Arabica while backpacking through Flores in 1998.
This is the first time in 2 years I have found a Flores Arabica that really is quite specially. Flores Arabica shares both body and cupping characteristics with Arabica from Java and East Timor. It is 100% organic- although as in all of our Arabicas from small-holders- not certified as such.
Gunung Wills is an isolated coffee growing community in East Java. The coffee is grown on the slopes of a volcano. Smallholders tend the coffee gardens whilst also cropping Papaya, Pandan and rice. The coffee is dry processed and displays a wonderful chocolate cupping character- with hints of Irish whisky. The lot is fairly small- we take 500kg a year only. Limited stocks.
This bean comes from an estate near Semerang in Central Java. It is grown on the opposite side of Java to our Village offering; the changes in weather patterns between the two locations leads to a distinctively different tasting bean . The Estate is privately owned and the quality program employed results in the cleanest green bean we have ever seen!
Perfection pre-roast often does not translate into the perfect cup, but in this case the results are indeed excellent. We roast this one dark resulting in a bean with a hint of ripe cherry, walnut and a slight sweetness that reminds me a little of honey-suckle. The body is heavier and the aroma a pleasant Smokey woodiness. A mild and mellow cup, certainly an after dinner delight.
Our favourite. This bean is from Central Java, not from the very over-rated government estates in the east of the island. The Village grows this superb Arabica bean exclusively for Merdeka Coffee. The bean is well balanced and cups a mellowness that synonymous with the classic taste of Java.
The aroma is of soft, unsweetened chocolate and the acidity is higher than that of our Sumatran offerings. This coffee drinks well as an after lunch or dinner treat. It’s thicker in the cup, the body holds up well as a plunger or an espresso coffee. Organic, fair-traded with our growers- great for your conscious as well as your palette.
After all the emails we have received over the last few years, finally we have decided to add Kopi Luwak to the range of Indonesian coffee we hold. Merdeka Coffee has entertained quite some characters over the years- all either filming, or searching for the Luwak. First it was Steve-O, Chris and the Wildboyz, then Prof Marcone, the world reknown Luwak expert. We have had some great fun with Kopi Luwak.
The Coffee we sell is Arabica- sourced from nearby villages around our original roastery in West Java and also from our small holders in Eastern Indonesia. The current crop is processed at origin and then processed again at our roastery before being roasted and packed.
The Kopi itself cups very differently from a standard washed Arabica. The traits origins are still there in the cup, but some fruitiness- a touch of papaya and mango is also evident. The fruitiness could be a result of the other foods the Luwak eat- or it could be a result of the process as the coffee passes through the GI tract of the Luwak.
In any case the coffee is very mild and full bodied. An interesting cup in more ways than one.
This small cherry arabica is sourced from a very small estate in Central Java. Every year they produce just over 50 tonne of coffee bean. This is snapped up by the specialty roasters in Europe. This year we were fortunate enough to get our hands on a limited quantity of this coffee.
Although not grown at extreme altitudes, this bean has some fine qualities in the cup. A mild, low acidity balances a buttery finish. The coffee has the chocolates and slight cinnamons found in other Java's- but being a sweeter bean, the sweetness also carries over into the cup. Perfect for drinking alone, or with sweets after a meal.
We have blended some of the finest Sumatran coffees that we have managed to source and then entrusted them to our roast master to bring out the best flavours and aromas. He has roasted the beans to a stage where the oils from inside the beans have bean forced out and begun to bead on the surface.
The resulting blend is a fine testament to some of the most famous coffees in the world. The blend cups beautifully- a fine balance of licorice and toffee, with an underlying tone of chocolate. This coffee is one of our bestsellers and with its lower caffeine levels can be drunk at any time of the day.
Our Lintong is also from Northern Sumatra. The bean displays qualities that make it a perfect bean for blending.
It is light, fruity and refreshingly spicy. The Lintong cups with a wonderful abundance of fruit- and more than a hint of Elderberry flower, apple and lemon. We roast the bean to a medium roast, not too dark, so the fruitiness and floral in the cup remain. This is my favourite Sumatran coffee. The bean is sourced from an area of North Sumatra, not too far from Lake Toba. My visits there are always enjoyable- great coffee, hospitable hosts and fantastic scenery.
Estate. Our search for the perfect Mandehling will one day be made into an epic movie.
Weeks were spent on the road in Northern and Western Sumatra searching for just the right growing conditions for the bean and taste we visualized. Our Estate bean was discovered quite by accident. A small plantation situated high on the slopes of a volcano yielded a bean that displays the fruity and floral qualities that make Mandehling coffees sought after the world over. We have experimented with roasting and have settled on a medium-dark roast- mixing the fruitiness with the smokiness of the roast for a quite special taste and aroma. The acidity in this bean is medium, the body again lighter.
We have a range of single origin Indonesian coffee available - order a cup or buy a fresh retail pack off the shelves.
Our origins include: Java Estate, Java Village, Wamena Irian Jaya, West Papuan Arabica, espresso Blend, Aceh Takengon, Ngobo Estate, Mandehling, Sidikalang, Lintong, Bali Arabica, Flores Arabica... And a few more to boot!
Antipodean also has a cafe (espresso based drinks) menu. Drinks include:
Flatwhites, Longblacks, shortblacks, Doppio, ristretto, cappuccino, latte, piccolo latte.... The list is endless. Please don't ask for syrup (flavoured) coffee. That's what our competitors are for!