Sumatra: Gayo River
Surrounding the shores of Lake Tawar, in the mountains of northern Sumatra, the Gayo people have been cultivating coffee for nearly a century. This region has long been recognized for the unmistakable flavor of its coffee. This flavor profile is in part a result of the soil, climate, and varietal – but most contributing to cup character is the traditional style of processing, known as “Giling Basah”.
For years now, we have been working with a cooperative based in the lake-side town of Takengon, whose leader is said to have been born under a coffee tree. The 2148 members of his cooperative live in the districts of Bener Mariah, Bergendal, Jagong, and Atu Lintang, cultivating organic, shade grown coffee in harmony with a diverse array of fruits and vegetables.
Families and communities work together during harvest time, hand selecting ripe fruit. After picking, the cherries are pulped and fermented. Following a short fermentation, the cherries are transported to the cooperative in Takengon, where the parchment layer is removed. The green coffee is then sun-dried on patios, during which time it turns a deep emerald green.
Our supply comes from the farms of Jagong, a fertile valley south of Takengon, with elevations ranging from 1300 – 1600 meters. The latitude and climate of the Gayo Highlands produces multiple harvests each year, allowing us to maintain a consistent, fresh supply of this remarkable coffee.