What is Kopi Coffee: Everything You Need To Know

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer for more information.

Our favorite coffees are from Indonesia. They are perfect for roasting on the darker side since they are complex, syrupy, have low acidity, and are often very thick. 

The extensive use of the Indonesian processing technique known as “giling basah” is primarily to blame for this. 

Wet-hulling, a semi-washed processing technique, is used to process almost all of the coffee in the area. In essence, some of the characteristics of the pulp and fruit are transferred to the bean by allowing the coffee cherry to dry on it for a little period of time before being cleaned and removed.

Let us read further and understand the Indonesian kopi coffee culture better!

Asian Palm Civet produces Kopi luwak, Bali, Indonesia

What Makes Indonesian Kopi Famous?

Indonesian coffees are regarded for their distinct, recognizable tastes, velvety texture, and earthy tones. They are grown in volcanic ash, alongside chilis and spices. 

The trick? Position, position, position! 

The Republic of Indonesia, located between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, is made up of more than 16,000 hilly volcanic islands, including Java, Sumatra, and Sulawesi, three of the most popular arabica coffee-producing islands. 

These islands, which lie in the bean belt just south of the equator, are perfect for producing coffee because of their ocean mist, volcanic soil, lofty heights, and old-age forests.

A startling 90%+ of the country’s coffee is cultivated organically by tiny landholders with a total holding size of little more than 2.5 acres (1 hectare). 

This makes Indonesia one of the top ten coffee producers in the world today. The bulk of these farms continue to employ conventional agricultural methods and the giling basah wet-hulling procedure, which highlights the rich texture and earthy aromas of quality Indonesian coffee. 

All Indonesian arabicas have these beautiful flavors and a rich texture, yet there are subtle flavor variations amongst the kinds of coffee produced in the different islands.

What Are The Most Famous Indonesian Coffee Types?

Here are the top four Indonesian Kopi types that you can explore for a premium coffee taste—

  1. Kopi Luwak

The craziest and the most expensive coffee in the world, Kopi Luwak has a very interesting creation process. 

Kopi Luwak is an Indonesian coffee that is created from civets’ partly digested coffee beans. Yes, you heard correctly. Civet droppings are especially sought after by farmers, who then gather them along with the coffee beans for additional cleaning and processing. 

Due to a combination of high demand and the little amounts of Kopi Luwak that the civets can organically generate, Kopi Luwak coffee is pricey.

  1. Kopi Tubruk

This is the nation’s most consumed brewed coffee. The ideal way to prepare this is to add 3 teaspoons of sugar and 3 teaspoons of ground coffee to each glass of hot water. 

A cup of coffee’s worth of ready-made combinations is now produced and sold in sachets by a number of large national corporations. 

It has achieved great success in the domestic market and has even been sold to a number of Asian nations, including Malaysia, Singapore, China, and Saudi Arabia.

  1. Kopi Joss

A specialty known as Kopi Joss is said to have originated in Yogyakarta, also known as Jogja, a town in Java. This region of Indonesia has a long history of exporting coffee and is known for its association with the coffee plant.

Street sellers known as Angkringan may be found around Jogja’s streets, particularly close to railway stations, offering snacks and many types of coffee, including Kopi Joss. 

The practice of purchasing coffee from one of these street sellers is deeply ingrained in Jogja culture, and many people include a visit to their preferred vendor in their daily schedule.

  1. Kopi Terbalik

An Indonesian coffee known as Kopi Khop or Kopi Terbalik is distinguished by its distinctive serving method. A glass that has been filled with freshly made coffee and flipped upside down is then set on a huge dish. 

The straw that comes with each cup of coffee should be used to carefully blow air into the glass so that the liquid may then slowly stream onto the plate.

An old wives’ tale claims that men would drink coffee in Aceh’s coastal regions before heading out to sea to work. The coffee remained clean thanks to the cup being turned upside down, allowing the guys to enjoy it after they got home from work.

  1. Sulawesi Kalossi

One of the diamonds of the Pacific coffee-growing region is Sulawesi coffee beans, sometimes known as “Toraja.” Obtaining a nice cup of this coffee is the ideal challenge for any coffee enthusiast searching for an adventure. It is wild-grown, difficult to obtain, and totally excellent.

Compared to other coffees from the archipelago, Sulawesi coffee tends to be lighter and more acidic. Take Sumatran coffee, for instance, which often has a very full-bodied flavor and a low acidity.

What Does Kopi Coffee Taste Like?

Robusta beans are typically used to make kopi. Compared to coffee prepared using Arabica beans, coffee manufactured with Robusta beans often contains more caffeine. 

The user will experience a greater caffeine rush as a result of the higher caffeine level. Beans for kopi are often roasted to a dark black color.

Indonesian coffee often has a stronger, deeper flavor with a noticeable earthiness. The semi-wash processing technique allows for the detection of notes of mustiness, wood, spice, leather, and tobacco. 

Expect a lingering finish with a bitter taste that is similar to dark chocolate. But that’s only the beginning. 

Unless you’re dealing with a wet-processed blend, you may anticipate some acidity in the flavor due to the sheer amount of potential flavors that are waiting to be discovered in the huge field of Indonesian coffee types.


Over the previous few centuries, as the amount of coffee produced on these islands increased, each island established its unique system for growing, harvesting, processing, and storing coffee beans. As a result, the flavor characteristics of the coffees on each island are highly varied.

If at all feasible, make an effort to confirm if the beans you’re purchasing are fair trade or organic. Many groups are prepared to go on with commercial strategies that are just as exploitative as those used by the colonial powers at the start of the heritage of Indonesian coffee.