Pageant Promotes Country’s Coffee

The Jakarta Globe

Aromatic, with no bitter aftertaste. The coffee, that is, not Laskari Metal Bitticaca, who was on Monday night crowned the inaugural Miss Coffee Indonesia.

Laskari, from South Sulawesi, beat 31 other contestants from 14 coffee-producing provinces, in the event held by the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

She will represent Indonesia at the International Queen of Coffee pageant in Colombia next year, SCTV reported.

Diana Miring Tikupasang, deputy for domestic promotion at the Culture and Tourism Ministry, told the Jakarta Globe that the pageant would be a great opportunity for Indonesia to promote its quality coffee.

“The idea of choosing a Miss Coffee is to promote Indonesia’s good-quality coffee to the world,” she said. “There are several areas in Indonesia that are renowned for their coffee, like Aceh, Toraja [in South Sulawesi] and Papua.”

She said Indonesia is the fourth-largest coffee producer in the world after Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia, and the government plans to develop coffee-based agro-tourism.

“That’s never been done before in the Indonesian tourism sector, and we have so many coffee plantations that can be used as eco-tourism destinations,” Diana said.

The government wanted to see more Indonesian retailers selling coffee, rather than have the market dominated by international brands selling the locally grown produce under their labels. “We can develop our own coffee industry selling the goods for cheaper than the international labels,” she said.

Indonesia’s most famous coffee is kopi luwak, dubbed the world’s most flavorful and expensive. Demand for the coffee, brewed with beans plucked from the dung of civets — furry, weasel-like creatures known locally as luwaks — is surging among coffee connoisseurs around the world, exporters say.

Additional reporting from AFP

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