Flavor Profile Lime, dried orange, herbal, tobacco, bittersweet chocolate
Please Note This coffee is solid, but not among our top-tier offerings. We are confident to sell it with no reservations.
Out of stock
150 smallholder farmers organized around PT Trijaya Agro Lestari
1200 – 1500 masl
Tim-tim, bourbon, Ateng Super, Jember
Bener Meriah district, Aceh Province, Sumatra, Indonesia
October - December | March - May
A zesty-sweet Sumatra with wildberry acids, clean herbal and peaty qualities, from a smaller exporter working in the famous Bener Meriah regency of Aceh, near Sumatra's northern tip.
Aceh and its Coffee
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 terroirs. Coffee farms in this area are managed with the experience of many generations of cultivation, while also harmoniously woven into their surrounding tropical forests. The canopies are loud and fields are almost impenetrably thick with coffee plants, fruit trees, and vegetables, all of which are constantly flushing with new growth. Year-round mists and rain showers never cease, farm floors are spongy and deep with layered biomass, and almost every square meter of the region seems to exude life. Nothing is ever still. Including coffee ripening, which occurs ten months out of the year.
There is a strong local consumer culture for coffee in Aceh, thanks to the proliferation of local roasteries and cafes throughout not only northern Sumatra but all of Indonesia. Shop owners compete for connections to great farmers in Aceh, and many processors here will put more effort into cleaning and sorting their inventory for local sale—in which prices often exceed global export prices. Most farmers and coops are consumers of their best coffee, making Takengon and its surrounding mountains arguably the best place in the world to drink exuberantly fresh, perfectly clean, wet hulled coffee.
PT Trijaya Agro Lestari and the Farms of Bener Meriah
Bener Meriah is one of the regencies in Aceh province, sweeping northeastward from Lake Tawar and comprised almost entirely of high elevation rainforest and agriculture.
Sumatra’s smallholder coffee is a complicated process. Notably, processing is typically not overseen by a single individual or team; instead, coffee moves task by task through different parties before reaching its final, fully-dried, state.
Coffee farms in Aceh average 0.5-2 hectares each (even smaller for this group, where farms range from 0.5-1 hectares). Every village with cooperative members has a collector (or more) who receives fresh-picked cherry for washed processing each day, depulping the coffee at their home. Fahman Yoga is the collector of this coffee, coordinating cherry and processing for all 150 farmers working in the area, a combined 369 hectares of diversified farmland.
Processing involves mechanical depulping of cherry and overnight fermentation in nylon sacks, typically for 12 hours’ time. Then the wet parchment is rinsed clean and patio dried for 3-4 days. Here the coffee is mechanically hulled of its parchment, leaving behind just the soft, high-moisture coffee bean (thus earning the term “wet-hulled”), all of which is spread out on large patios to continue drying, from 40% moisture down to about 18%. The green coffee is then bulked and transported again for final drying, where it will reach 13% before being packaged for export. Each handoff is orchestrated by the cooperative, and the members’ coffee is traced throughout each step of the chain.
Mr. Yoga works with PT Trijaya Agro Lestari, an exporter based in Medan on Sumatra's eastern coast, who ships about 5,000 bags of coffee annually from across northern Sumatra.
Most of the dominant coffee profile descriptions in the northern provinces of Sumatra were once loosely based on regional ethnicity, rather than strict geography itself. This has muddled the island’s traceability over time, and of course today the descriptions themselves are more closely tied to cup profile than any ethnic group producing it. “Mandheling” for example, is a broad label for a widespread cultural group in Malaysia and northern Sumatra and has come to be the broadest coffee trading term, applying to almost any chosen blend of wet-hulled coffees from across the northern half of the island with full bodied and earthy-sweet character—generic lots to highly traceable ones like this one often carry the term. "Mandheling", like "Gayo” or “Lintong”, are malleable terms, and it is often difficult to pinpoint a coffee’s exact origin without direct partnerships that allow buyers to trace the entire value chain themselves. So, it is helpful to work with exporters using distinct supply chains, who themselves operate in the highlands and are personally invested in their community’s success.