17October2017

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KAWA COFFEE FROM WEST SUMATRA

West Sumatra people have a different  way to enjoy coffee. In addition to grind the beans, they also harvest the leaves. Then the coffee leaves are processed into typical drink called kawa leaves, and generally they enjoyed at casual times.

For coffee drinkers, may never have thought that in addition to the beans, the leaves of a coffee tree  can also be used as beverage . The coffee leaf besides having   aroma and taste whicxh no less nie compared to the coffee bean , it also belived to have other benefits for health. In West Sumatra, Tanahdatar, this drink was first introduced, and got the name Kawa Daun or leaves.

If we pass Tanahdatar, then along the road, especially in the highland regions like Tabek, Salimpauang, and Sungai Tarab, we will find many taverns that reads Sedia Daun Kawa or Serving Kawa Daun . In addition to the local community, many passing drivers ould  stop and enjoyi the  typical Minang kawa. Not infrequently they bring raw kawa leaves for souvenirs or consume it themselves .

Kawa actually means Coffee, derived from the Arabic language qahwah. While the word Daun  itself is derived from Indonesian. So kawa daun  is a beverage made from brewing the leaves of coffee. Just like  tea brewed with hot water rather than the beans. Dark color of kawa daun describes the dark history, especially for people minang in the days gone by. 

According to the local story, in the past , when Japan still occupied  West Dumatra, they picked fruit or fresh coffee beans belonging  to  local people and exported them abroad. As a result, people can not enjoy coffee beans. So at the time drinking coffee was  a distinctive experience or luxury  and illustrated  the social status  of a  person. This has resulted in people who also want to enjoy coffee put an initiative to replace processed coffee beans with coffee leaves that turned out to have no less delicious taste than  the refined coffee beans. Since then the habits of people  to make kawa daun coffee became a popular until today.

How to enjoy kawa leaves is relatively easy, simple and still in the traditional way. At first the leaves are  dried by roasting over the fire for approximately 12 hours. This drying step is the most time-consuming phase. Another way is usually done by drying the leaves of coffee with a skewer, then roast  on a wood-fueled fireplace until slightly charred.

Then the leaves that have dried are  mixed with cold water and cook until boiling. The  leaves which are  a little burnt can also be crushed and knead into small pieces. The small flake is then brewed with boiling hot water. After that  it is  filtered through a tea sieve and the coffee is  ready to be served. Uniquely kawa daun is usually  not presented in a glass but poured into a container of coconut shell. And this is what makes Kawa Daun  taste delicious and fragrant. The advantage of Kawa daun is its  caffeine content is lighter than the regular coffee made of beans. Therefore these beverages is suitable to serve drinks to those who have an allergy to regular coffee.

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