The Dutch planted the first coffea arabica trees in Java at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and before the rust disease virtually wiped out the industry, Java led the world in coffee production. Most of this early acreage has been replaced by disease-resistant robusta, but, under the sponsorship of the Indonesian government, arabica has made a modest comeback on several estates originally established by the Dutch at the turn of the century and situated in the dramatic mountains of East Java. In many of these estates the original machinery the Dutch introduced is still in use, maintained perfectly and as neat as a museum display but infinitely more useful.
Java coffees share some of the low-key vibrancy of the best Sumatra and Sulawesi coffees, but tend to be lighter, cleaner, and brighter in the cup. Java can be astoundingly sweet, buoyantly fragrant, and alive with nut, spice and vanilla tones.
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