BANDA ACEH – Tens of thousands of coffee lovers paid a visit Wednesday to a festival celebrating the renowned brews of northwestern Sumatra Island’s Aceh province.
Cafe outlets, coffee distributors and farmers from around the country were among the estimated 100,000 visitors at the International Banda Aceh Coffee Festival, featuring exhibitions, presentations and classes on roasting and brewing the beans.
Top Indonesian baristas showed off their coffee-making skills during demonstrations, while other visitors enjoyed ‘coffee cupping’, the practice of tasting and evaluating the aromas and flavors of the caffeinated drink.
The Tourism Ministry hosts the annual event, the oldest coffee festival in the country, as part of efforts to boost visitor numbers to the province.
Aceh is internationally famous for its arabica gayo coffee, a dark green rich-tasting blend, and its robusta coffee, a sweet and smooth variety.
Also taking place alongside the coffee event is a culinary festival featuring traditional Acehnese dishes, including ‘kuah beulangong’, a spiced dish of lamb or beef that is usually eaten at weddings or to celebrate religious festivals.