Blawan coffee plantation
Before the coffee plantation became a plantation, wild land had to be cleared. Originally the Ijen Plateau was uninhabited. The administrators chartered people from the northern lowlands; attracting Madurese.
Several species of shrub of the genus Coffea produce the berries from which coffee is extracted. The two main species cultivated commercially are Coffea canephora - better known as 'robusta' - and Coffea arabica. Both are cultivated at the Ijen Plateau.
Since 1870 individuals could lease land in Indonesia, then called The Netherlands Indies. This situation attracted many European entrepreneurs into culture in Java. They rent cheap coolies (indigenous workers) for the sometimes heavy work.
Coffee berries and their seeds undergo several processes before they become the familiar roasted coffee. At the Ijen Plateau coffee plantations the berries are hand-picked and processed in an old Dutch factory.