VARIETY: Ateng, Bor Bor, Catimor, and Timor
ELEVATION: 1,550 meters
NOTES: Balanced, creamy, and sweet with winey fruit acidity; dark chocolate, berry, and floral flavors.
This coffee comes from a small mill in the Pegasing district of Takengon, in Sumatra's coffee-famous Aceh region. The mill serves several small coffee producers within the Pantan Musara villages; several years ago, these producers were dislocated from their homes and land because of a natural disaster, and they have rebuilt their lives and farms with a new focus on coffee.
Aceh, in northern Sumatra, is an incredible region for coffee production. The average farm is one hectare, 80% of producers within northern Sumatra are women, and 95% of producers are smallholders. The region is diverse, geographically speaking. It is surrounded by beaches with a swampy inland, and the Barisan Mountains make up the inner two-thirds of the area. Coffee is grown on this volcanic mountain amongst the rainforest. One of the notable features of this area is Lake Taboa, the largest volcanic lake in the world.
Natural coffees are typically processed the day they are harvested, and are first sorted for ripeness and quality before being rinsed clean of dirt. In many places this initial sorting happens via a float tank: Damaged and defective cherries will float to the top to be removed, while high-quality coffee will sink to the bottom to be cleaned and dried. After sorting, cherries are spread on raised drying beds, table, tarps, or patios, where they will be rotated constantly throughout the course of drying. Drying can take an average of 30–40 days, depending on the weather.
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