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An Introduction : The Importance of Coffee Industry in Indonesia’s Creative Economy



Coffee is well known as a type of beverage that provides caffeine intake. To some it is hailed as a legal drug. Some take serious care on it from seed to cup of its journey. Now we shall be more aware on why coffee matters in a new economy so called the creative economy.  

Let us imagine myself : a below five feet tall young lady in my late 20’s, on a sailing tour for business. I am going with my little boat like Moana’s that I designed. I have with me some stuff of my daily needs and bags of coffee beans. I am going to sell the coffee beans to people in another island. Let us come to imagine a past tense situation : on my way, a storm hit me and my boat, everything disappeared to wherever unknown into the sea. I lost my boat, my coffee to sell and all of my other things. There were nothing left except for myself and something I did not mention before : my ideas. It was my idea, at the first place, to create this fake narrative in order to get you into the upcoming explanations as I am going to bring you into what makes coffee worth included in Indonesia’s Creative Economy. My idea is the byproduct of my creativity.

Creativity is the ability to generate something new. It means the production of one or more people of ideas and inventions that are personal, original and meaningful. It is a talent, an aptitude. It occurs whenever a person says, does or makes something that is new, either in the sense of ‘something from nothing’ or in the sense of giving a new character to something. Creativity occurs whether or not this process leads anywhere; it is present both in the thought and in the action. It is present when we dream of paradise; when we design our garden; and when we start planting. We are being creative when we write something, whether it is published or not; or invent something, whether it is used or not. 

  • John Howkins. The Creative Economy : How People Make Money from Ideas (2007)

And so, what to do with coffee? Has it gone to wherever unknown into the sea forever? The coffee that sunk into the sea perished. Not so with the ones that the land still produces and the ones that I have in my ideas to make money from. When I make money by selling coffee, whether as original coffee beans or something else, body scrub or fertilizer for plants, for example, I use my creativity to represent coffee industry to partake in the creative economy. Creative economy happens when idea as byproduct of creativity is given economic value.

Creativity is not necessarily an economic activity but may become so when it produces an idea with economic implications or a tradeable product. 

Creativity is not new and neither is economics, but what is new is the nature and extent of the relationship between them, and how they combine to create extraordinary value and wealth.

  • John Howkins. The Creative Economy : How People Make Money from Ideas (2007)

As the Father of the Creative Economy, John Howkins’ invented idea on the new economy is used by the Government of Republic of Indonesia to run the country’s creative economy, as found in OPUS – the Creative Economy Outlook that is released by the government as the guidelines for creative practitioners. Creative Economy is the term specifically applied in Indonesia, distinguished from Creative Industry that is used in several countries. 

Although Creative Economy and Creative Industry are attached to one another, the Creative Economy has larger scope than the Creative Industry. The Creative Economy is not only about adding values economically, it is also about adding values socially, culturally and environmentally. 

  • OPUS 2017 


The statement gives special meaning to coffee industry to partake in the new economy. There are more about coffee than it is as beverage and legal drug. In its journey from seed to cup, coffee goes through economic, social, cultural and environmental issues of human being. It matters in science, it matters in art, it matters to the creatives. It, after hard labors of passionate people, is the world’s second biggest commodity, at least, until, prior to covid-19 global outbreak. It represents Indonesia as the fourth largest coffee producer in global economy after Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia as a result of human slavery for hundreds of years. Its industry is globally innovative. The innovation apparently shows how creative a country is, and, it apparently shows how effective is creativity used in Indonesia to add economic, social, cultural and environmental values. It means a lot more on how Indonesia values its human capital as the source of creativity. Therefore, it is important for Indonesia to value its people, especially the people of coffee more than coffee itself. 

Big endeavors have been done by the government to boost our creative economy by educating the creatives through trainings, seminars, workshops, exhibitions, also to grant capitals to start businesses. The writings in this site are meant to support the government from grassroot perspective as to bring awareness to fellow Indonesians on the role of coffee industry in particular in Indonesia’s creative economy. That coffee industry could not function as it ought to function if the human capital as the source of creativity is failed. It is failed by means of, for instances, unfair trade experienced by Farmers and unpaid extra working hours experienced by Baristas and Roasters. 

Coffee, the irresistible bean that it is, has been having tremendous impact in human history. It has been impacting ethics, religions, economics, social including romance and gap between sexes stories, and all other aspects of our lives. Now we shall be more aware on our being as humans with creative intelligence to rule over coffee because what is coffee without human’s creativity?


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Work Is In Progress

Dear Readers,

This site was first created in 2016 after a desire to write with no clue on what to write. There have been some changes of the contents ever since. From poetry to life story to fiction, they have helped Writer to learn the importance of writing as an opus, A.K.A. creation or a piece of work, that requires careful thinking in the making. That is why you are reading this letter as the Writer is taking time to practice a careful thinking. Please do take this as a notification.

For your information, this site is going to be dedicated to establish awareness on The Role of Coffee in Indonesia’s Creative Economy. I do hope that it would be an interest for you.

Thank you for visiting and reading this.


Karolina Wamiau.