More famous for its Hindu-based culture, temples, beaches, and high-end resorts, Bali also produces coffee (though in much smaller volumes than on its fellow Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Java, and Sulawesi). The Kintamani region on the northeastern side of the island is the main growing area and features soil enriched by eruptions from the nearby Gunung Agung volcano. Production is dominated by over 3,000 small-scale farmers, most of whom are organized into approximately 60 traditional groups called subak abian. Originally associated with rice, subak abian were founded on a Hindu philosophy in which happiness is derived from having positive relationships with other people, God, and the environment. The subak abian operate similarly to cooperatives and set standards on production and processing methods for their members through a “Book of Requirements” that is distributed to its individual members.
Balinese coffee is wet-processed and can feature notes of citrus, brown sugar, and mild fruit with a bright acidity and a soft body. Only recently has it entered the North American market after being sold exclusively to Japan, and Atlas began sourcing it in 2015 through one of our main export partners in Indonesia. In 2008 arabica coffee from the Kintamani region received Geographical Indication (GI) status from the country’s Justice & Human Rights Ministry and was the first Indonesian product to secure this designation.