Our Balinese friend Jantuk, who was also our driver while in Bali and I highly recommend for hire if you need a local to show you around, took us around in our search of beautiful places and he stopped at a place about 30 minutes from Ubud called Bali Pulina and asked if we’d like to check it out. Not knowing what this place was or what to expect we just followed him up some stairs to a beautiful entrance with a sign saying “Bali Pulina”.
Once we started walking down the paved path we were swept away by the surrounding beauty. Turns out that Bali Pulina is an agro tourism plantation and we were in for quite a treat.
They grow coffee mainly but have so many incredible gardens full of different herbal plants and foods. Trees of all sorts, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut, papaya and pineapple. Plants of chili, cocoa, and nutmeg and other spices lined the pathway. They even had Mimosa Pudica growing throughout which is known as the sensitive or shy plant because when you touch the leaves it reacts by shrinking back into itself, it is truly a remarkably curious plant and so mesmerizing to watch.
The plantation is known for it’s Kopi Luwak coffee, touted as the most expensive coffee in the world. It is literally poop coffee, the civet cat (known as Luwak) is fed coffee cherry and then it poops out the coffee bean, which in turn is collected, cleaned, and roasted to make one of the best cups of coffee ever. They even take you to see the Luwaks which are actually very lazy animals that just lounge around all day.
The whole process is quite labor intensive and going through the plantation they show you how the process works and how it is grinded down by hand. That is why it is so expensive (costing up toward $50 a cup in US dollars, however you could get a cup there at the plantation for about $5 US in Indonesia, prices are much cheaper there than the US).
We came across a couple huts which traditional offerings were being prepared by the natives and they had a collection of different spices that they plant and harvest there.
As we winded our way down through the plantation we came to some beautiful wooden decks overlooking the most beautiful vista of terraces and jungle below. Bali Pulina sits high atop a mountain so looking down below is quite a sight to see how far down it sweeps.
After taking in the view for a while we went to the open air cafe to sample their products. The views from the cafe are absolutely phenomenal and awe-inspiring. While we were there we could see some of the workers down in the fields and you could make out an outdoor shower where they would rinse off in the village down below. It was pretty funny because there were a couple times we looked over and saw a few tiny naked figures taking their shower, they were so far away it was too hard to tell anything other than they were naked and they didn’t care but still a unique view nonetheless.
When you go to the cafe they set you up with a sampling of 8 different teas and coffees all for free, and you can also purchase a cup of Luwak coffee for about $5 US and they also have a small menu of appetizers. The beverages are super tasty and leave you wanting more. I sampled the selection of teas which were outstanding, my favorite was the mangosteen tea.
My husband is the coffee drinker so he sampled all of the coffees and also ordered a cup of the Luwak coffee which he described as pretty darn tasty. I had a sip too out of curiosity and it tasted like a good cup of coffee to me!
We also treated ourselves to a banana dessert draped in syrup which was an absolute delight with our beverages.
Going to Bali Pulina is a great way to learn about the agriculture of Bali and the scenery alone is spectacular. They also have a gift shop where you can purchase all of the beverages you sampled or you can even buy some Luwak coffee to take home with you, to give the gift of poop coffee to those you love.