Kopi Luwak is overrated. On my uncultured tongue, it tastes like Nescafe 3-in-1 with a hint of poop. I know it’s been washed thoroughly (claimed!) but there’s the poop stigma that follows every sip. There I said it, I’m just not a fan of the hype. So, when my Bali tour guide suggested a coffee plantation in Ubud as our next destination, I groaned.
What could possibly be so interesting in an Ubud coffee plantation, I asked. Kopi Luwak, he replied simply. Double groan.
And we are already in the area, the coffee plantation is just up this road, he added. We had just left the beautiful and calm Tirta Empul temple.
Sensing that I was unenthusiastic, he said I wouldn’t need to drink the Bali Luwak coffee if I didn’t want to but that the place itself is worth the visit. Plus, entrance is FREE.
Okay, you got me at my favourite word. So, that’s how we ended up in a coffee plantation in Bali.
Our tour guide brought us to Satria Coffee Plantation.
Where is Satria Coffee Plantation?
The place is also known as Satria Agrowisata. They sell coffee, teas, and chocolates. They also sell the infamous kopi Luwak.
Satria Coffee Plantation did not look like much on first impression. In fact, you might easily miss the place if you don’t pay attention.
But the magic appears when you enter the premises.
There is a guide on the plantation who will explain the process used in the place and what they are about. I was only half listening most of the time and left Loong Seng to respond. I was more interested in looking around.
The place is well kept and lining the walkways are coffee plants. For the jakun in me who has never seen a real coffee plant, I was very excited to see real coffee fruits attached to the plant.
Because of this, I was often left behind by the tour group. But how can you get lost here? Everything is already so perfectly laid out you will have to try very hard to disappear. It’s a coffee plant photo wonderland.
If you’re interested, you can also try broiling the coffee seeds. I tossed the seeds around the huge wok for a minute before I got bored and handed the giant spatula back to the grumpy lady manning the stove.
After broiling the seed, you can ground them. The manual way is to pound them constantly with a big stick inside a huge wooden bucket. Very stress relieving.
Avoiding the hard selling and Kopi Luwak
Once the tour is over, our guide brought us to a small hut to sit. We were given 12 small cups of coffee and tea to sample. And then he sat with us and started explaining how the traditional ingredients in each cup helped to alleviate certain ailments.
Photo Source: The Runaway Ducks
I braced myself for the hard selling that I was getting used to in Bali. From experience, Bali’s business people are relentless and creative sales executors. One even started crying to guilt trip me into buying her head scarves. I don’t know about you but these things stress me out a lot. How do you deal with these kinds of sales tactics?
In Satria Coffee Plantation, there was pleasantly none of that.
The guide merely explained that we’d have to pay for a small sample of Kopi Luwak and asked if we’d like a cup. We said no and he left.
That was it.
I felt an immediate sense of relieve that for the next 12 cups of free coffee and tea, I could savour some time alone without the stress to purchase. These experiences are the ones where I wouldn’t mind spending. (I’m looking at you, Sasa!)
The samples were given in generous portions unlike the sad ones given at Malaysian hypermarkets. I had to be careful with the coffee though because I can’t drink it. Coffee gives me terrible headaches and makes my heart race. But the teas I gulped down. And they were delicious. I especially enjoyed the mangosteen flavoured tea.
Plus, did I mention that the view is amazing?
Once you’re done sampling the coffees and teas, you can head over to the shop and buy the flavours your like.
So, is it worth it to visit coffee plantations in Bali?
A quick search online will show many reviews about the legit-ness of the products Satria Agrowisata sells. Overpriced, questionable nutritional labels and civets stuck in cramped spaces are often thrown around. Go check it out.
While I cannot vouch for the quality and price, the experience provided at the place for free compensates that for me.
And that concludes my accidental coffee experience in Bali.
P.S My parents thoroughly enjoyed Satria Agrowisata’s Mocha Coffee. Like the reviews mentioned, it was in sweetened powder form but it’s all good because that’s how my parents like their coffee.