Maybe not of you have been heard coffee with the name Excelsa. More familiar to our ears Excellso which is one of the coffee brands that is quite well known. I’m sure not many coffee connoisseurs know the existence and even the story behind the excelsa coffee.

Coffee for the Balinese people in particular, has become a habit and even entrenched its consumption in everyday life. Even coffee is often symbolized as a complement in our daily lives. But actually, coffee is not a native product of Bali land even though today there are still many community coffee plantations in Bali. Well, just to add to my knowledge, the writer also happened to have the opportunity to chat with the Maestro of Umejero Village who has been paying attention for decades to the indigenous peoples and especially the coffee farming community in this village.

He is Mr. Putu Witaya. This man who was born in 1942, for some of us who are close to the Umejero hamlet, knows him as Pak Mekel or Pekak Mekel. He has held various traditional and political positions which basically want to develop and prosper the farmers. In 1976, he was the first to initiate TOP Robusta Coffee, which is currently widely cultivated in the region. Even now, he is still working on rethinking from 2018 high-yielding coffee varieties that bear fruit at the age of 3.5 years (normally coffee bears fruit after 5 years ed.)

About Excelza Coffee – Dutch coffee

Physically, it is very clear between this coffee from the Dutch colonial era and TOP Robusta coffee which is currently cultivated by coffee farmers. Excelza coffee has a more robust physique, tends to be taller, has denser leaves and it turns out that the cherry coffee yields are very rare compared to the coffee that is currently cultivated.

The 1920s was the beginning of the development of “technology and land development” which at that time was initiated by a number of Dutch agricultural departments which were closely related to the VOC. Coffee was a mandatory commodity from the VOC to be sent to Europe. Perhaps on this basis then coffee was brought to Indonesia (Aceh, Jombang and Munduk) at that time to be planted and cultivated.

According to the stories of the elders in this area, even the Dutch have created a pilot garden called LEMBAU, which, unfortunately, until this article was written, the author still had not received further information about the meaning or responsibility of the institution called LEMBAU at that time. LEMBAU itself is an institution that develops coffee nurseries and plantations.

At that period, this coffee called Excelza became the most widely grown coffee in the Dusun Umejero and surrounding areas. This is why the Munduk Village and Umejero Village area became one of the best coffee producers during the Dutch colonial period. And I believe this Excelza coffee was the superior variety of its time, despite the fact that when compared to current coffee yields – Excelza coffee produces very few coffee cherries than TOP Umejero Coffee.

Currently, Pekak Mekel still leaves one area of ​​its garden to plant this Excelza coffee. About the results we will wait later when the harvest. The author is also curious about the taste and aroma of this Excelza coffee.

Currently, this sturdy coffee from the Dutch era is still often used by Pekak Mekel and his fostered farmer groups to be used as rootstocks or coffee plant bases for reasons of strength and very strong roots that are able to keep the soil strong.

Writen by : Pan Galih

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