Geothermal coffee process used in Indonesia speeds up processing


Geothermal energy has the potential to generate direct social benefits through direct use applications. This potential is currently being realized in Indonesia with the introduction of the Geothermal Coffee Process (GCP) by Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE) in the Kamojang area of West Java.

Data from the GCP initiative indicates notable differences in t processing time during the fermentation and drying stages.

Without geothermal, full wash drying typically takes 7 to 10 days, honey processing needs 14 to 30 days, while natural process takes 53 to 42 days. With geothermal, the time for each type of coffee processing becomes shorter, 2 to 4 days for full wash, 4 to 7 days for honey processing, and 7 to 10 days for natural processing.

Coffee beans drying in the sun in Big Island, Hawaii. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The benefits from this initiative include both earnings and emissions reduction. It is estimated that the potential for cutting emissions is 4 tons of CO2 annually, alongside a potential reduction of 419.2 kilograms of organic waste per year.

Economically, the expected turnover of the GCP farmer group amounts to about IDR 165 million per year with an average management income of IDR 24 million per year and operational cost savings of IDR 55.2 million annually.

Moelyono Soesilo, Chairman of the Specialty and Industrial Coffee Division, Association of Indonesian Coffee Exporters and Industries (AEIKI), welcomed the innovation and pointed out the potential for GCP to boost farmer productivity and coffee production in the country.

“I’ve seen it myself and it’s quite good, hopefully in the future it can have an influence and increase productivity because we use modern methods,” he said.

Moelyono said that this innovation holds the potential to significantly enhance coffee production efficiency. This is particularly applicable to Arabica coffee that is commonly grown in the highlands where geothermal areas are also located.

He also hopes that PGE can carry out Cooperate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities to educate the coffee farmers on the benefits of the GCP. 

“Coffee farmers need education in selecting seeds and many other things to get maximum results. Not only that, they also need to be accompanied for at least five years, not just one or two years, so that efforts to enhance coffee production are maximized, and the CSR carried out can also have an impact,”he said.

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