Organic Sumatra Takengon Mandheling Fair Trade


Organic Sumatra Takengon Mandheling Fair Trade

bell pepper - cedar - cacao nibs

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 REGION:  Bener Meriah, Aceh Tengah Regencies      FARM:  Small Holder Farms (KKGO Co-Op)    FARMER:  Small Holder Farmers (KKGO Co-Op)      ALTITUDE: 1200-1600 M     VARIETAL:   Bourbon, Typica Cultivar, Catimor(Tim-Tim, Ateng Super),  PROCESS: Wet Hulled    ROAST: Medium


Aceh (pronounced AH-CHEY) is the northernmost province of Sumatra. Its highland territory, surrounding Lake Tawar and the central city of Takengon, is considered to be the epicenter of one of the world’s most unique coffee terroir. Coffee farms are surrounded by tropical forests. The canopies and fields are almost impenetrably thick with coffee plants, fruit trees, and vegetables, all constantly flushing with new growth. Year-round mists and rain showers, farm floors are spongy and deep with layered biomass. Coffee ripening occurs ten months out of the year.

Koperasi Kopi Gayo Organic (KKGO) is a cooperative of 1408 farms. Members average 1 hectare each and are spread across the hillsides of the Bener Meriah and Aceh Tengah Regencies, which together circle the immediate mountain ranges north and south of Lake Tawar. The cooperative, along with many local industries in the region, identifies itself as “Gayo”, after the Gayonese ethnic group which has long made Aceh their home, and which comprises a vast majority of farmer members. KKGO was founded in 2006 and currently mills and exports through nearby PT Ihtiyeri Keti Ara, a family-owned company. 

Farmers pick cherry and sell to collectors, who aggregate for their communities and deliver to processors. Processors float cherry for density and then depulp and ferment the coffee overnight. The following morning the fermented parchment is washed clean with spring water and spread out on tarps to dry directly in the sun. After the parchment is dry to the touch, often only a matter of hours depending on the time of day, it is transferred to a local miller, who mechanically hulls the parchment from the wet coffee seed (thus earning the coffee its “wet-hulled” label), and will proceed to further dry the wet, naked coffee seeds on tarps under the direct sun. Each handoff is orchestrated by the cooperative, and the members’ coffee is traced throughout each step of the chain. Additionally, working with PT Ihtiyeri Keti Ara, whose mill is local to Takengon, means exports are approved and shipped directly from the highlands, with minimal time in Sumatra’s humid port city of Medan—an extremely key step for retaining quality in Aceh’s coffee.

Wet hulling, or giling basah, is the traditional method used in Indonesia. And although both the name and the method are very similar to wet processing, the cup characteristics are incredibly different. Further information