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Published: June 23rd 2010
At Santi Agrowisata coffee is still roasted by hand over a wood fire.
A number of farms in the Tampaksiring-Kintamani area north of Ubud have realized that there are any number of visitors who have a deep interest in chocolate, coffee, and spices. These farms are open to the public, usually for free, figuring, and rightly so, that you will buy some of their products directly from the farm.
My driver took me to Santi Agrowisata
on the way back from seeing the holy springs at Tirta Empul, and I’m glad he did. With me, if you say coffee and cocoa in the same sentence, my little ears perk right up.
Unlike rice cultivation, which requires dedicated fields, at Santi Agrowisata the plants are intercropped. That means that as you walk the shady paths you will find coffee plants next to vanilla beans around the corner from cocoa plants, with ginger and lemon grass growing along the edges. Stop and smell the spices!
Santi Agrowisata also produces luwak
coffee. Luwak is a very special coffee, produced in association with civet cats. These nocturnal animals forage through areas planted with coffee trees, eating the beans. The beans pass through the animal’s digestive track undigested, and are excreted in their feces. In the
morning, farmers search for the civet’s scat. The beans are separated from the fecal matter, washed, roasted, ground and brewed into coffee.
Luwak coffee is supposedly some of the most delicate and delicious coffee in the world. The trip through the digestive track of the civet cat is said to remove any trace of bitterness from the coffee. I didn’t try luwak coffee. I meant to, really I did. But every time I came across a café serving it, I somehow just never had enough cash on me to buy a cup.
At the end of my walk through the plantation, I was given samples of some of the most delicious coffee and tea I have every tasted, all of which is (of course) for sale in the gift shop. But the real deal here is the 100%!o(MISSING)rganic Balinese dark chocolate. It comes in quarter kilo bars, and trust me, it tastes nothing like anything that ever came out of Hershey - or Cadbury. I sheepishly admit to not sharing. I also got a chance to sample local fruits such as rambutan, mangosteen, and snake skin fruit, all of which were absolutely delicious. Bali, May 2020
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