The Indonesian Sumatra Gayo Megah Berseri, we sourced via Falcon Specailty Coffee.
Coffee was planted in Sumatra in the late 1600s, under the guidance of the Dutch East India Trading Company (or Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VoC)). Between 1602 and 1796 the VoC sent almost a million Europeans to work in the Asia trade. Travelling on 4,785 ships they netted for their efforts more than 2.5 million tonnes of Asian goods. With Europe’s ever increasing thirst for coffee, at that time, this commodity played an important role in the trade of Indonesia. Indeed this is still the case today.
Following early success in Java coffee was then introduced to Sumatra, initially to the northern region of Aceh around Lake Tawar. Today coffee is still widely produced in these northern regions of Aceh (Takengon, Bener Mariah) as well as in the Lake Toba region (Lintong Nihuta, Dairi-Sidikalang, Siborongborong, Dolok Sanggul, and Seribu Dolok) to the southwest of Medan.
Sumatran coffees are mainly produced by a unique semi-washed process which is sometimes described as “wet-hulled” and is known locally as Giling Basah. In this process the coffee is picked, machine pulped (usually on the individual small holding) and then partly sun dried. Parchment is then removed revealing a whitish coloured, swollen green bean. Finally drying is completed on the patio, where the seed quickly turns to a dark green colour unique to Sumatra. This method brings about more body and often more of the character that makes Indonesians so unique and recognisable. Well known flavours that range from deep chocolate to tangerine funk.
Jagong village was established during the 1980’s as a result of the Indonesian transmigration program. A program introduced by the Javanese people who offered land and a new start in Sumatra. This was in an attempt to reduce the population on the overcrowded island of Java. Working alongside their new Gayonese neighbours the settlers started to produce Arabica coffee.
The village is located in the Central Aceh District south of Aceh’s capital Takengon and around 35 kilometres from Lake Tawar. Twenty five members of the Jagong village cooperative grow organic Bourbon and P88 Arabica alongside cabbages, chillies and red beans on land that averages around one hectare in size. With an altitude of around 1,600 masl, and rich and fertile soils bring about coffees that have depth of body. Add to this they often have fascinating complexity – possibly due to the way that the beans are processed. The coffee is semi washed and wet-hulled, a process that involves the part-drying of freshly pulped beans before removing the parchment then allowing the swollen and ‘blanched’ beans to be sun dried to a deep green colour. Harvest takes place between October and July and the coffee is stored in GrainPro sacks for shelf life longevity.
The history of Gegarang village is similar to that of Jagongs. It was also a part of the Indonesian transmigration program that brought many Javanese people to Aceh to reduce the overpopulation of Java during the 1980s.
The village’s 46 members grow their organic coffee on plots of around one hectare. Each plot is at an altitude of 1,500 to 1,600 masl. Other crops include potatoes and beans. Gegarang village is only 4 kilometres from Jagong and is situated between Takengon and Lake Tawar.
Coffee cultivars are mainly Bourbon with some P88 and a little Catimore, all of which is grown organically. Coffee here is also semi-washed and wet-hulled. The process involves part-drying of freshly pulped beans before removing the parchment. Afterwards allowing swollen and ‘blanched’ beans to be sundried to a deep green colour. A very deep and full bodied coffee is the result. Add to that the distinctive tangerine sweetness and lacing heavy chocolate. Harvest takes place between October and July and the coffee is stored in GrainPro sacks for shelf life longevity.
Details of Sumatra Gayo
We have named the coffee after the cooperative that represents the two villages of Jagong and Gegarang. the co-operative blend the organic coffees from the two villages.
|Region:||Between Takengon and Lake Tawar in Aceh, Sumatra|
|Farms||Jagong and Gegarang village co-ops of the Cooperative Gayo Megah Berseri|
|Altitude:||1600 to 1800masl.|
|Cultivar:||Arabica: Bourbon and P88|
|Characteristics:||Tangerine, spice and brown sugar.|
|Roast used:||Acceleration into first crack and then ramp rate reduced into and through first crack|
|Certifications:||Fairtrade and Organic.|