Title + Introduction[s]: Thomas Wensma
Publication: Drift Volume 9: Bali
Published: March 2020

Full Circle: Q&A with Shae Macnamara, owner of Expat Roasters

Bali is an island of lush jungles and soothing-green rice terraces. This unique part of the Indonesian archipelago weaves international style with local culture.

It’s one of the few places in the world where you can drink specialty coffee that was grown and processed a short drive away from the cafe that is serving it. Located a couple of hours away from these coffee farms, Australian Shae Macnamara has been at the forefront of specialty coffee culture in Bali. After several visits, four and a half years ago, he realized the potential for farm-to-cup coffee, but at the standards you’d find in Melbourne and Sydney.

He founded Expat Roasters, bringing an Australian-style cafe experience to the Indonesian island of beauty, style, and local traditions. Opening his first shop in Seminyak, he has been attracting a wide range of visitors. Other cafe locations followed, with Expat Beachwalk in Kuta, and Full Circle in Ubud.

Though met with challenges when first arriving in Bali--from coffee quality and processing methods to business operations--he has been able to make a difference in the Bali specialty coffee scene. Here, Macnamara talks about the flavor characteristics of Indonesian coffee, operating a business and how sustainable practices make current cafe culture in Bali unique.

Origin at Origin Q&A with Rodney Glick, owner of Seniman Coffee

Australian born Rodney Glick came to Bali with an intent to do wood carving. Instead, he started trading coffee. This led the contemporary artist into starting Seniman Coffee.

In the past five years, Indonesia, like other coffee-growing countries, has seen the rise of what Glick calls the “fourth wave” of coffee, driven by growing domestic interest, consumption, and research in coffee. In Bali, the fourth wave has bridged the local coffee-producing culture with the global standards of coffee processing and education that have developed abroad. And to that end, Glick has helped to bring knowledge and context to the Bali coffee scene, and developed adaptive tools and solutions for local coffee producers and baristas to access those global standards.

Flavors of Process: Q&A with Kadek Edi, Q Grader and Head Roaster at Seniman Coffee

Like Rodney Glick, his business partner at Seniman Coffee, head roaster Kadek Edi used to be a woodcarver. Overcoming his father's expectations, he started working in coffee. Wanting to learn how to properly grade and process coffee led him on a path to become Bali's first and only Q grader in 2013. It’s the highest accreditation for a green coffee evaluation expert. Within the rigorous training one must pass 19 tests, that include triangulation, cupping, olfactory tests, roasted grading, green coffee grading, and sensory skills, among others. Based on an agreed language of quality in processing and sensory analysis, it results in a globally shared standard for buyers, traders, roasters and other coffee professionals alike. Here, Edi shares the intricacies of coffee processing methods and how these influence the flavor characteristics of Balinese specialty coffee.