First Coffeologist Meeting in Malaysia
Part One: Sarawak Liberica Plantation Visit
Coffeologist Meeting of Coffee Consulate is a series of events where coffee certified enthusiasts meet up to share new knowledge and exchange information. Earthlings hosted the first ever Coffeologist Meeting in Malaysia the day after the Borneo Coffee Symposium. To make this remarkable meeting more interesting, we invited all the visiting Coffeologists, speakers from the symposiums, and distinguished guests to a local plantation housed under the Department of Agriculture Sarawak’s research facility. Transportations and arrangements were made by our friends at Rekajaya.
At the plantation, our keynote speaker, and also partner, Dr Steffen Schwarz; long-term advocate for Liberica coffee, had shared with us crucial information on Liberica cultivation. He noticed that this species has adapted quite well to the low and flatlands of Sarawak that is high in humidity and high rainfall. An Arabica, on the other hand, will be much more unlikely to thrive half as healthily under the same conditions.
But most importantly, Sarawak Liberica also excels in the cup. Unlike its other low-land neighbour, Canephora (Robusta), which commonly associates with earthy, rubbery, and metallic flavours, the Sarawak Liberica resulted in a sweet and fruity cup every time we cupped it. It may exhibit some exotic aromas, but it was well received by locals and foreigners alike. We brought it to as far as Stuttgart, Germany last year to be cupped by coffee experts from all around Europe at the Coffee Summit, and it received numerous compliments along with many surprised faces.
We believe all these unique properties that we found in Liberica offers new possibilities to global coffee cultivation if we can find ways to utilise them through hybrid creation or grafting. We may be holding to potential solutions to global coffee production and sustainability issues.