Once in a blue moon, a coffee comes along that's downright intoxicating. Bali Blue Moon is such a coffee. Its rich aromatics are a prelude to notes of walnuts, semi-sweet chocolate, and vanilla bean in the cup. Big-bodied and smooth, this coffee's bold flavors persist into a long, syrupy black-cherry finish. Although it offers traces of the earthy flavor profile characteristic of Indonesian coffees, Bali Blue Moon renders a clean and classic brew.
Grown in the Kintamani Highlands of North Bali, Indonesia, this coffee makes a lasting impression. Bali is synonymous with white beaches and tropical get-aways, but not coffee. Coffees from central Bali are virtual newcomers to the North American specialty market and are produced in relatively small volumes.
Farmers rely on shade trees such as orange and crops of tangerine placed between the coffee rows to subsidize their incomes and to provide a shade canopy for the ripening fruit. The coffee benefits from its proximity to the citrus by absorbing more sweetness and a bit more acidity than other Indonesians. Most of the coffee Bali exports is conventionally wet-processed. Harvesting occurs from May to October when only the ripe fruit is picked, so farmers typically canvas the fields at least three times to pick cherries at their height of flavor.
Due to the coffee crisis of the 1990s when farmers were paid less for their coffee than it cost to produce, Bali farmers cut down many of their coffee trees and replaced them with citrus. Even if the farmer kept his coffee trees, most of them planted tangerine to improve both coffee yield and cup quality.