0

Cart

A trader will contact you with shipping and payment options after checkout. Please note: free samples are provided to commercial roasting businesses only.

Cart subtotal:$0.00
Your cart is empty

Solok Radjo Cooperative

West Sumatra, Jambi Province, Kerinci Regency, Sumatra
Partner since: 2016 Traceable to: 600 Members Altitude: 1585 MASL Varietals: Lini S795
Processing:

Washing station and drying patios accomodate fully washed, honeys, naturals and wet-hulled

Oct Nov Dec Jan Dec Jan Feb Mar Jan Feb Mar Apr
harvest
booking
arrivals

Community Context

Solok Radjo Cooperative (600 members strong, 1-2 hectares each) is a young, energetic group engaging in roasting, visiting cafes, brewing, agronomy etc. They have 3 Q-certified cuppers/graders on staff, and have cupping set ups at both the field location in Aie Dingin and the drying/mill location in Solok. They are checking moisture (though not diligently) and roasting on site to check each lot and report back to our local staff in Medan.

On the ecology front, this group is serious. They have a grant from the government to re-forest 3,000 hectares of previously cleared land at the border of the National Park. 1st phase/test is underway now with 120 hectares. They are growing both shade tree/forest seedlings and coffee tree seedlings at their coop nursery, and they’re re-making this cleared land into forest land with coffee trees growing under the canopy.

Country Context

To talk about Sumatra we need to speak of its size. It’s large. Larger than Texas and Florida combined. In the middle of the island is a caldera called Lake Toba: the largest caldera from the largest volcanic explosion this world has ever seen. In this lake there is an island bigger than the country of Singapore. It is because of this lake that Sumatra has the largest rainfall seen by any coffee exporting country – the lake feeds clouds trapped in by the island’s 1500m tall mountains.

Sumatra is old. When Marco Polo visited the island’s northern tip back in 1292, he found the local people speaking Sanskrit, one of the purest remaining forms of the ancient language. When the Dutch East Indian Trading Company came, Aceh (and later Java) became the first commercial coffee origins that the world had seen.

Sumatra is big; I know we already said that, but it is really, really big. There are over 52 languages over four major ethnic groups (Acehnese, Minangkabaunese, Batak and Mala) covering an area over 170,500 square miles around. However big the island, however, there is only one government-authorized port of export – the 15 million person city of Medan. To get here, coffee has to travel as far as 375 miles, over massive mountains and on roads that are mostly still mud.

That’s 20 hours north to the producing regions Gayo Aceh, or 24 hours to the southern most Arabica regions in Kerinci. And this is the main reason that Sumatran coffee is hulled while wet, and dried while in the green. Called Giling Basah, this process starts with coffee parchment being dried to 30-50% moisture before being milled into green beans. Higher moisture during transport from the farm to the port can lend to the classic ‘earthy, musty’ flavors that you get in some Sumatrans.

Another source of Sumatra’s unique flavors dates back to the turn of the 20th century when Indonesia’s coffee crop was wiped out by leaf rust. Much of this was replaced with HDT (Hybrid de Timor) (Bourbon x Robusta), its direct descendant Tim Tim, or the more modern Sigarar Utang (Tim Tim x Bourbon).

And these are Robusta-Arabica hybrids; over the generations these have only added more Arabica through crossing Tim-Tim and with Sigarar Utang (Ateng). But there are pure Arabica strains as well, like Jember (Bourbon x Typica), USDA (Ethiopian Arabica transplant), and Onan Ganjan (Jember x Bourbon). So the genetic stock is absolutely unique.

But what makes Sumatra truly unique are Sumatrans. As a new generation takes the reigns, they are taking the country headlong into specialty. The past years have seen an explosion of washed coffees, naturals, honeys, new varietals, new regions and new ways of thinking about Sumatra’s role in specialty coffee. Not just locally, but regionally –Indonesian coffee has so much to offer, and so much of what comes out of Bali, Flores, Timor and Sulawesi comes through Sumatra.