Echwan East Java
Echwan made new friends quickly in the area and began to learn the tricks and trade of growing coffee in
the mountainous region. Once he began to properly harvest and process his coffee, Echwan had to
physically visit each coffee roaster to offer his beans. To also promote his coffee, he launched his own coffee
blog and various social media sites to spread the word about his coffee. This led him to gain the fame he
currently maintains in East Java and connected him with other producers in the Bondowoso region.
Indonesia has been exporting coffee since 1711, when the Dutch East India Company sent its first shipment from Java to Europe. The crop was profitable for many exporters and importers: less so for the country’s producers. In 1960, the novel ‘Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company’ was published, outlining the abuses endorsed by the Colonial Dutch system. The novel transformed the labour system and even provided inspiration for the first Fair Trade label.
Indonesia’s production was originally nearly 100% Arabica until, in the 1870s, coffee leaf rust decimated production. Farmers slowly replaced Arabica with robusta, and today, although Indonesia is a significant coffee producing country – the fifth largest in the world behind Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, and Vietnam – only around 25% of production is Arabica.