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Blitar coffee factory welcomes harvest with 'manten kopi' ritual 

Asip Hasani

The Jakarta Post

Blitar, East Java  /  Sun, June 30, 2019  /  08:03 pm
  • An employee picks coffee as part of the ritual.

    An employee picks coffee as part of the ritual. OF JP/Asip Hasani

    An employee picks coffee as part of the ritual.

  • Offerings paraded during the ritual.

    Offerings paraded during the ritual. OF JP/Asip Hasani

    Offerings paraded during the ritual.

  • Among the foods being paraded are fried chicken, banana and coconut..

    Among the foods being paraded are fried chicken, banana and coconut.. OF JP/Asip Hasani

    Among the foods being paraded are fried chicken, banana and coconut..

  • A white cloth is brought for the ritual.

    A white cloth is brought for the ritual. OF JP/Asip Hasani

    A white cloth is brought for the ritual.

  • The ritual ends with a feast.

    The ritual ends with a feast. OF JP/Asip Hasani

    The ritual ends with a feast.

OF

Every year De Karanganjar Koffieplantage, also known as Karanganjar Coffee Factory, welcomes the harvest season with a ritual named manten kopi (coffee bride).

“This ritual is how we show our gratitude for the harvesting season and also a prayer for a bountiful harvest, so the management, staff and the locals can reap the benefits,” said Wima Bramantya, the director of PT Harta Mulia, a family business that owns the plantation.

Established in 1874, the company has been running the factory since 1960. 

The procession was carried out by dozens of Karanganjar Coffee Factory employees on June 22 as they traveled from a pavilion at the heart of the factory’s complex to the best coffee tree in the plantation. Each participant wore traditional Javanese apparel; a kebaya (traditional blouse) for women and luri (traditional striped shirt), jarik (Javanese batik, traditionally brown) and blangkon (traditional Javanese headdress) for men. 

Throughout their journey of almost 1 kilometer, the entourage was led by a woman and two men. The woman held a folded white cloth set on a tray, while the men carried offerings in the form of fried chicken and bananas. The trip was further enlivened by festive jaran kepan music (which usually accompanies the traditional Javanese horse dance) played by musicians trailing the group.

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When they arrived at the tree, a few branches were carefully selected and placed on the white cloth carried by the woman in the front. Some branches had lanang (male) coffee and wadhon (female) coffee, which were joined on the cloth as partners. Afterward, they placed the offerings at the foot of the chosen tree.

The procession returned to the factory with the lanang coffee and wadhon coffee. In the pavilion, Wima waited to receive the coffee.

Wima believes in the importance of the ritual, expressing, “This is a tradition that’s been passed down from generation to generation amongst the locals around the coffee plantation to welcome the arrival of the harvest. Our plantation’s management makes an effort to preserve this piece of our heritage.” 

He added that he also hoped the ritual would attract visitors to the coffee factory and plantation. (ayr/kes)

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