The Hotel Critic visited Bali Beans! Family Farm with Rich History
Following the Coffee Bean Journey in Bali
From seed to sip!
Everybody loves a good cup of coffee right? The rich, smooth feel of something so perfectly brewed you can’t help but hold the mug just that much closer? Well as much as we all love the final product, we don’t often get to find out where it comes from. And even less often see where it comes from. Generally, we all know it comes from a farm, but ‘a farm’ can mean any number of generic things.
During my trip to Bali, I had the unique experience of watching and learning how some of the best coffee in the world gets made. With the help of generations of knowledge passed down by the Sudana family at Bali Bean, I came out of the experience knowing so much more about my cup of Joe than I ever could have thought! I learned all about the farm, the processing, the roasting, and maybe most importantly: the history! I never knew coffee could be so complex, but the story was beautiful, and moving, and went a little as follows:
To start, Bali Beans– where I took a tour of the farms, emphasized three main passions that influence all the work done here. Harmony with god, harmony amongst nature, and harmony amongst people, which come together to form the Hindu philosophy of ‘Tri Hita Karana’. These principles are the very core of the coffee. Here it isn’t just about supply and demand, typical 9 to 5 day work. Here it is about building something that betters everyone involved. That makes a true, meaningful community.
Stressing the importance of a community, Bali Beans focuses not on the beans themselves, but on the hands that hold them. Work here is done in an ethical manner that truly represents the spirit of a loving community that believes, and takes care of what it does. I was shocked to see such dedication and passion in these farms— and how tightknit the community was as a whole. People here really know and care for one another, and that is really exemplified in the work they do with a fun, friendly smile!
And that’s just the beginning!
Onwards from the farm itself, the coffee moves from bush to processing. Generally, there are three popular ways to process coffee beans. There is the natural, air dry method, the washed method, and the ‘honey’ method!
By the natural process, the fruit is left on the bean until the coffee fully dries. It is typically regarded as the most eco-conscious way as the flow of nature takes its course.
Following that, the washed method is a little more unique. Here, it really depends on how much natural sugar was taken in by the bean itself during its life cycle. The flavor is entirely its own, and you can really taste a washed process from a natural.
Lastly, the honey method! Which is pretty accurately named when I saw how it looked like honey had been added to the mixture and the general stickiness of the beans while they are being processed. The honey method, understandably, produces some of the sweetest cups of coffee!
After processing, it was time for roasting! Not many plantations in the world set up shop with a roastery in the heart of all things, but that’s just another score to Bali Beans! This is where the rich history of the Sudana family really got my jaw dropping. The Sudana Family has moved on from individual, traditional roasting to the massive, inspiring company they are today. They have the highest name brand equipment for their well-loved coffee beans.
According to this family, roasting is where you really get a taste for the quality of your coffee. Considering the Sudana’s have generations of expertise on what altitude engineers the best results, it should come as no shock that they’ve perfected this science! Roasting is an incredible experience that I will never forget having shared with them as the little green beans made their final journey into full-fledged, brown coffee beans that you might see in your local café.
Because the Sudana Family is so dedicated to the craft— on my “Coffee Bean Journey” Tour I got to see not just the new age roasting technique, but the old as well! I got to follow the life of my coffee cup from seed to sip and I could really taste the love this family has put into it.
To some people, it may be “just” a coffee cup. But to this family, and this farm it is far more than that. It is a community. One that is proud of what it makes, and continues to deliver the best not because they have to, but because they want to. It was truly an experience like no other, and I’d recommend the destination to anyone in Bali looking to have their world rocked by Bali Beans!
After all was said and done, I couldn’t leave without a memento! I got some treasured coffee to go that I brought back to my favorite hotel in Bali: the Alila. The Alila Hotel is in Seminyak is easily the best place I’ve ever stayed at in Bali, and I frequent Bali annually! Here you can wake up to the kiss of sunshine on the banks of an ethereal Bali beach. There is a pool that looks more like paradise, and even a bar set up to complete the picture.
And that’s not even mentioning the room! The room is a sprawling expanse of luxurious wonder. With a king bed, a shower to die for, and even a private balcony I really couldn’t ask for anything better after a day spent on a Bali farm.
Overall, it was a day I won’t soon forget! The “Coffee Bean Journey” guided by the geniuses at Bali Bean is an experience best lived to believe! The stories were touching, moving, and oh so engrossing that I’m already looking at dates for my next go-round! Follow the bean all the way to Bali, and make some memories you’ll always remember!