Farm: Various smallholder farmers
Processing: Semi washed
Altitude: 850 to 1,500 metres
Owner: Numerous organic certified small growers around Aceh Tengah
Town / City: Aceh Tengah, Lake Toba
Region: North West Sumatra, Indonesia
Overall: Pineapple and sugar cane with refined sweetness, notes of cedar and vanilla, big body and lingering finish
Sumatra Takengon Zero Defect - Indonesia
This coffee is sourced from various small producers around the town of Takengon on the shores of Lake Laut Tawar, in the far north-west of Sumatra. These are very traditional, family farms that produce small amounts of coffee, usually alongside other crops used for the family’s own consumption.
There are very few coffee estates or even co-ops in Sumatra. Instead, a huge number of smallholders - farms average 2 hectares or less - sell small quantities of coffee at their local village market.
The local market system means that traditional notions of ‘traceability’ do not apply, for the most part, in Indonesia; generally coffees are only traceable to village level. This makes our choice of milling partner absolutely crucial to safeguard the quality of the cherry from the multiple smallholders all the way to the quayside. We have been working with our partners, PT Sarimakmur, since 2004 to select only the pick-of-the-crop Sumatran coffees. Their mills are clean, efficient, well-managed and staffed by a legion of hand pickers, all of whom receive at least the government minimum wage - with many earning more than this with performance-related bonuses.
Like most coffees produced by smallholders on Sumatra, this coffee is ‘semi-washed’ - growers pulp their cherries at the farm using basic pulping machines; then, they very partially dry the mucilage before sending the crop on to millers to remove the parchment in a semi-wet state. It is thought that this process gives Sumatran beans their distinctive bluish-green appearance.