Thursday, November 12, 2009

Agro-touring in Bali. Kopi Luwak, Snakeskin fruit, and more

The good thing about renting a car along with a driver when you're a tourist is that your driver knows places you don't.

As soon as we landed, we asked the driver to take us to Ubud so we can have some suckling pig, but our driver took us for a short pit stop at Trisna Bali Agrowisata (agro-tourism) on the way.
Trisna Bali is a small garden/farm growing a variety of fruits native to Indonesia, including mangoes, mangosteen, rambutans, and more. This was my opportunity to introduce my guests to salak, a tropical fruit they (and probably you) had never seen before.

Lacking any other English name for it, they called it snakeskin fruit. You'll see why:
Salak is a curious fruit. The inside contains three lobes of firm and crisp meat, similar in texture to an apple although firmer and not as juicy. A good salak is sweet and a little tart, but the moistness depends on the variety you're eating.

Per popular request, here is a photo of the inside taken from Salak's Wikipedia page.

When we visited, they gave us a small cup of the Balinese hot chocolate for free, complete with cinnamon sticks!
But of course, since we were in Indonesia after all, we had to get some Kopi Luwak.

Kopi Luwak, peaberry coffee, or whatever other name it goes under, is the most expensive coffee on the planet and is made with ... civet poop.
Luwak is a civet native to Indonesia that eats coffee berries and apparently knows enough to only eat the best quality berries. So when they poop out the beans, those coffee beans are some high quality coffee beans!
Also, the civet's digestive systems supposedly helped break down the coffee beans in such a way that makes the coffee that much better and more intense to drink.

I was quite enjoying my cup until my brother mentioned the word "runny" .....

They roast their own coffee here. As I've said though, they are a small farm/garden in Bali, so if you were expecting a coffee roaster a la Intelligentsia, think again. Here's how they roast coffee:
Yup, by hand, over the fire, for hours and hours. Makes one appreciate it more.

Trisna Bali Agrotourism
Br. Temen (Tampaksiring-Kintamani) Penglumbaran
Susut 80661
Bangli, Bali, Indonesia



Great post, thanks! I'd only heard of Kopi Luwak from the "Bucket List" movie. Interesting to see the real thing.

Wandering Chopsticks

Vietnamese have civet coffee too. And so sad I can't taste any snakeskin fruit. :( How come you didn't take pictures of the insides?


Because .... because I was silly and forgotten about it :(
I need to ask Matt/Javi if they have a picture on the insides.

Kung Food Panda

I'd be down for a cup of poop coffee! =)


Thank you for sharing! I love reading about all these exotic foods :-)

Daniel S.

Nice review and pics! I went to a similar plantation in Bali (different place I think) and also tried the Kopi Luwak coffee. Yeah it was really strong and deep in flavor. My blog has some pics if you want to see ( In general, I thought the coffee in Bali was very good wherever I had it, especially at the cafes in Ubud. The coffee beans are roasted darker and so the coffee has a smokier, deeper taste to it. I also tried a cardamom-infused French press coffee in Ubud and it was probably one the best cups of coffee I've ever had.


That snakeskin fruit is freakish! Incredible; it looks exactly like snakeskin! Ahhh!! You had some adventurous eats, for sure.


I feel like I might have seen salak in Thailand. Does it usually come in bunches? Also, as WC says, we need pictures of insides!

Did you bring back any kopi luwak? I think that was one of my biggest regrets in Vietnam


WC + Aaron: Alright, alright, I stole the photo from Wikipedia so you guys can see the insides :)

Indonesia Eats

I'm so jealous... Salak and kopi luwak.. uhhh

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