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Indonesia

Coffee was planted in Sumatra by Dutch colonialists 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 on 4,785 ships, and 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, as indeed it does 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.

Aceh has seen much civil unrest throughout its history but most recently due to guerrilla activity organized under the Free Aceh Movement; as a result, many farms were abandoned as farmers migrated to escape the unrest.

Incredibly, the devastation of the 2004 Boxing Day earthquake and tsunami did provide a silver lining, as it focused international attention on Banda Aceh. Subsequent aid spotlighted the region and served to bring relative peace to Aceh for a time; now farms are being revitalized via new planting and pruning and hope is returning.

The average farm size in Sumatra is small – just one to five hectares across the country – and different varietals can often be found growing together.

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. The parchment is removed revealing a whitish coloured, swollen green bean. The 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 recognizable, with flavours ranging from deep chocolate to tangerine funk.

Products

Sipangan Bolon Organic TP - Indonesia Single-Origin

Plum, smokey, sweet tobacco, tamarind & dark chocolate. An interesting combination of something a little different.

£5.00
 
(7 reviews)