Indonesia Gunung Tujuh Anaerobic Honey
Region: Kerinci Sumatra
Altitude: 1400 - 1700 meters above sea level
Owner: 320 members of Koerintji Barokah Bersama Cooperative
Variety: Andung Sari, Sigarar Utang
Process: Anaerobic Honey
Tasting Notes: Sweet and silky body with clean finish. Notes of honey, milk chocolate and lavender.
The 320 members of the Koerintji Barokah Bersama Cooperative live and farm on a plateau that sits at the foot of Mount Kerinci on the island of Sumatra. Mount Kerinci is one of the many volcanoes in the Pacific Ring of Fire, a 40,000-kilometer horseshoe-shaped series of 452 volcanoes that are part of an almost constant dance of eruptions and plate movements. Mount Kerinci’s historic eruptions have assured that the surrounding area is lush and verdant with a deep supply of fertile volcanic soil.
The cooperative is managed by Triyono, who leads members in processing and roasting their own coffees. They have a fully outfitted roasting facility, including a cupping lab, next to the dry mill. This is especially impressive considering the cooperative was founded in mid-2017.
Almost all farms on Sumatra are small. On average, farms are between 0.5 to 2.5 hectares. Coffee is usually the primary cash crop for farmers, but most also intercrop their trees alongside vegetables, potatoes and fruit. This intercropped produce will make up a substantial part of the family’s diet for the year.
In addition to growing coffee as a cash crop, many smallholder farmers also work as hired laborers at nearby tea plantations. Like coffee, tea is a huge cash crop in the area. The bigger tea plantations are often near coffee farms. When the harvest is finished, coffee farmers will go there and pick leaves under contracted labor.
There are more and more initiatives by farmers on Sumatra to organize themselves into cooperatives. In the past, farmers did not have much leverage to get better prices for their cherry or parchment. In cooperatives, they can share resources, organize training and negotiate better prices.
During the harvest season, coffee is handpicked. Usually, most labor is supplied by the immediate family.
After picking, the coffee will be delivered to a UPH collection center. A UPH is a collection center where coffee cherries are purchased by the cooperative and where the coffee is processed before moving it to the central mill. Essentially, a UPH functions as a small washing station. Triyono oversees the activities on and around nine UPH stations owned by the cooperative.
To streamline the operation, there is an agriculturalist providing technical assistance to make sure the same, standard procedures are used to process cherry at each of the different stations. Each UPH is located in a different area and receives cherries from different farmer groups.
With this Anaerobic Honey lot, coffee is first floated and separated by density before being laid on raised beds where workers remove underripes, overripes and damaged cherry. Then, ripe cherry is collected again and sealed in airtight, 20kg plastic bags that are stored in a cool, dry location (with temperatures between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius) for 7 days.
After 7 days, cherry is pulped and then laid again on raised beds to dry. The beds are located in domes that protect the coffee from rain or harsh sunlight. The parchment will dry here for around 20 to 23 days, or until it reaches approximately 12% moisture content. When dry, the coffee is milled and sorted by hand.
Members of the coop have a fixed buyer for their cherries, and at the end of the year, the coop invests its profits in either infrastructure to increase quality, or shares them as quality premiums with the member producers.
Farmers also receive technical support and seedlings for shade trees to plant on and around their farms. To join the coop, a producer pays a one-time membership fee of around 400 dollars (5 million rupiahs).
*all coffee delivered as whole bean unless specified*
*please comment with grind type if you would like your coffee ground*