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Ryan Wibawa Third-Place Win in the World Brewers Cup 2024 Boosts Indonesia’s Prominence in the Global Coffee Scene

(dok. Ist/Tony Pramana)

In the World Brewers Cup 2024, Indonesian barista Ryan Wibawa achieved an impressive feat by securing the third-place position. The competition took place in Chicago, Illinois, United States, during the Specialty Coffee Expo from April 12 to 14, 2024. This remarkable achievement marks the first time an Indonesian representative has made it to the top three in the World Brewers Cup since its inception in 2011.

As reported by Kompas, Ryan Wibawa displayed three distinct coffee varieties during the competition: Windy Ridge Geisha, El Diviso Ombligon, and Sukawangi Excelsa from Sumedang, West Java. His theme for the coffee selection was “harmony from diversity,” emphasizing the unique origins, processing methods, and varietals of each coffee. Inspired by the Indonesian motto “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” (Unity in Diversity), Ryan aimed to celebrate the diverse backgrounds of everyone involved in the coffee industry, from farmers to baristas and coffee enthusiasts.

It is a proud moment for Indonesia, and Ryan Wibawa’s achievement highlights the country’s growing prominence in the global coffee scene. As Indonesia ranks as the fourth-largest coffee producer and the fifth-largest coffee consumer globally, there is a significant growth in Indonesia’s coffee industry with continuously increasing consumption.

Domestic coffee consumption has almost quadrupled since 1990, reaching the equivalent of 6.3 million 60-kilogram bags of coffee in the 2019-2021 season. This growing demand is fueled by a younger generation switching from tea to coffee and a newfound appreciation for locally produced coffee. The revenue of Indonesia’s coffee market is expected to increase between 2019 and 2028. By 2028, it is projected to amount to four billion U.S. dollars.

Investment in the country's coffee sector is in demand as both global and domestic demand is rising. According to Indonesian Coffee Exporters Association (AEKI), in cooperation with the supporting agencies, Indonesian farmers are planning to expand Indonesia's coffee plantations while revitalizing old plantations through intensification programs. With this effort, Indonesia's coffee production in the coming ten years is targeted to reach between 900,000 and 1.2 million tons per year.

Indonesia’s Coffee Export

Indonesia’s Coffee Production

Source: World Coffee Research

In a 2018 study by Enveritas Global Farmer, coffee production in Indonesia is dominated by smallholders as much as 99%. In each of these smallholders there are differences and gaps in production systems, environmental conditions, product quality, and post-harvest processing. Often these smallholders live in remote villages that poses challenges for logistics and improvement in production technologies.

Despite the hurdles, as highlighted by Ryan in his varied selections of coffee beans, Indonesia stands out for its diverse coffee varieties. The country produces both arabica and robusta coffee, making it one of the most diverse coffee origins worldwide and contributes 5% of the world’s coffee exports according to International Coffee Organization (ICO).

As the aroma of freshly brewed Indonesian coffee wafts across the global stage, whether it is floral aromas of Bali Kintamani or fruity sweetness of Aceh Gayo, investors have a unique chance to be part of this thriving industry. With diverse arabica and robusta varieties and a rich cultural heritage, whether it is tapping into the growing Indonesia domestic coffee market, exploring export potential, or improving the logistics of smallholders’ production, the possibilities are as rich as the coffee itself.

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