Brewing Hints: Brew for three – four minutes in a cafetiere or use a filter machine
Roast Depth: Medium to Dark (Not French) Roast
Characteristics: Rich, earthy character with a pronounced acidity
Serving Suggestions: Drink after dinner with or without milk
Buy Online -
£3.63 – £28.90
At their best, Java coffees are smooth, supple and have an herbaceous note in the aftertaste. The coffee is stored in open sheds and is exposed to warm, moist air during the rainy season. This ageing process results in ‘Old Brown Java’ so named because the raw coffee beans change from green to light brown and the flavour gains strength while losing acidity.
Old Brown Java Coffee (also known as Old Government Java) is an aged (sometimes monsooned) coffee. Some estates age their coffee for up to three years. This aging process is very similar to the monsooning process we spoke about last month with our Indian Monsooned Malabar Coffee. As the raw beans age they turn from a light green to a light beige colour and the flavour gains strength whilst losing acidity.
Old Brown Java’s flavour can sometimes be described as earthy. The majority of coffee in Java is grown on the Ijen plateau at an altitude of more than 1400 metres. The Dutch originally planted Java with very large estates. The five largest estates are called Blawan, Jampit, Pancoer, Kayumas and Tugosari, these 5 estates alone cover an area of more than 4000 hectares (approx. 16,000 acres).
Java was first planted with coffee in the 17th century but the success of Javas coffee enterprises was terribly marred in the 1880s by an out-break of leaf rust, similar to that which we are experiencing today in El Salvador, Hawaii and Jamaica. The Dutch dealt with this by replacing the original Arabica varietals with much tougher, Robusta plants, however since this time there has been a big swing back to producing the more expensive and better quality Arabica beans. Java was one of the first large producers of coffee in the world and its popularity is justified by its quality.
The name Java has become synonymous with the American slang for coffee. Javan coffees are great for blending, with one of the best known blends being 50% Mocha and 50% Java. Blends of this type will have graced the British coffee shops from the late 1650s through to the mid-19th century.
In our opinion Old Brown Java Coffee is best enjoyed either first thing in the morning or as a digestif after a hearty meal.