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Indonesia’s JJ Royal gourmet coffee company caters for domestic demand

From the May 2011 issue.

JJ Royal, Indonesia’s largest provider of premium grade 1 local specialty coffee has been successful in making the country’s internationally-renowned origins available to the domestic market.

For a country that exports some of the world’s most sought-after origins, tourists to Indonesia may have noticed a lack of quality coffee available on the ground. Although the expression “a cup of java” comes from the South-east Asian nation’s Java region, in recent history much of the country’s best coffee seemed more available internationally than it was for Indonesians themselves.

At least that was what JJ Royal Coffee noticed in 2003, when they observed that tourists were actively seeking out Toraja coffee, but couldn’t find any of this premium quality product in the country. A little research showed that origins such as Toraja were popular overseas, but coffees of similar quality weren’t being sold within Indonesia’s borders. So, the company set about making premium Grade 1 single origin available to the domestic market. 

The more the company researched the country’s coffee, the more it realised just how highly priced Indonesian origins were overseas. On a trip to the French Riviera’s prestigious location, Cannes, one JJ Royal Coffee staff member noticed in a café that Grade 1 Mandheling coffee was the second most expensive on the menu. But, it was virtually unheard of and certainly inaccessible, in Indonesia.

“We thought it was really sad that Indonesians were not trying the best quality of their own coffee,” says Clarissa Halim, Advertising and Product Development Manager for JJ Royal Coffee. “What was available within the country was very limited… We saw a market there.”

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