Fair Trade Organic Sumatra Aceh Gayo Ketiara Women’s Coop

Sumatra lovers unite!! Our Fair Trade Organic Sumatra Aceh Gayo Ketiara comes from a women-led cooperative of some 2,712 small farmers. Founded in 2009 the Ketiara Cooperative was created by Ibu Rahmah, a 25-year coffee trading professional who has built upon her experience in growing and processing to lead the Ketiara Coop in its mission to support the coffee producing families of the Aceh region. ‘People over machines’ they say—as the business of coffee must be enjoyed by all villages and their peoples who form the foundation of the Ketiara Coop. Above market premiums are offered as an incentive to membership in order to achieve and maintain a high quality standard. Fair Trade practices guide the Ketiara Coop in its commitment to the promotion, shared values and equity of its producers, traders, and ultimately those who roast their coffee.

Apart from the production of premium arabica coffee, the Ketiara Coop honors its core value of promoting women, who make up approximately half (1,398 ) of all their growing members. In addition, Ketiara also prioritizes the coaching and training of newer, younger generations of farmers who will someday eventually take the reins.

The complexity of the Fair Trade Organic Sumatra Aceh Gayo Ketiara cup is a testament to the care taken in growing and post harvest processing. Look for a pleasant herbal aroma, fresh spices, cedar, apple, tropical fruits and floral accents. In the cup there are notes of brown sugar, bittersweet chocolate and caramel, and the body is creamy and buttery with balanced acidity.

Aceh Gayo Ketiara coffee is shade grown in the volcanic soil of the forested mountains surrounding Leuser National Park. The organization proudly promotes its sustainable, eco-friendly production methods which include zero chemical use, protection of local water resources, and a zero conversion of forest into agricultural plots. By utilizing forested natural canopies, Ketiara growers gather coffee cherries from a healthy, established ecosystem that offers the ideal co-habitation for arabica coffee trees without the need to clear any land for traditional row-planting.

Our Fair Trade Organic Sumatra Aceh Gayo Ketiara is a wet-hulled or semi-washed offering. Ketiara growers follow a strict processing standard in which only red, ripened cherries are harvested in the morning hours and pulped the same day in the late afternoon. Submersion in fermentation tanks occurs for 12-24 hours, upon which the lot is washed and sun dried to a 30% moisture content. The cherries are then directly delivered to the wet-hulling facility where they’re further sun dried to a 12.8% moisture content. A multi-phased sorting process then begins with two separate density machines, hand-picking, de-stoning, a final third density sorter, then sampling, testing, grading and packaging.

Our Fair Trade Organic Sumatra Aceh Gayo Ketiara is among the highest grade of specialty coffee available from Sumatra: certified Grade 1 and hand sorted to remove any natural defects and ensure the best quality cups.

When it comes to flavor profile, processing is paramount, and one of the main differences between Sumatra and other origins is just that–—Sumatra (and Sulawesi) growers are the world’s exclusive practitioners of the Semi-Washed / Wet Hulled (or Giling Basah) process. A chief characteristic of the process is the moisture content of the parchment at the point of sale – Washed or Wet Process coffees (which are the most common throughout the world) are pulped, fermented, washed and dried in the parchment until moisture content is reduced to approximately 10-12%, which typically takes about 12-24 hours. Conversely Semi-Washed coffees like our Fair Trade Organic Sumatra Aceh are pulped and dried for only a handful of hours until moisture is somewhere between 25 and 50%. At this point the parchment layer is still intact along with a good portion of the mucilage, causing the beans to be gummy and sticky if not outright slimy to the touch. With regards to flavor, the extra mucilage profoundly alters the cup profile by providing more sweetness and even body. In effect this makes the semi-washed process a sort of mid way point between washed coffees and naturals.

In yet another departure from convention, the drying of semi-washed parchment occurs on natural clay or dirt patios where the beans freely absorb the characteristics and minerality of the soil, which in turn contributes greatly to the classic, earthy profile of the semi-washed. Moreover semi-washed beans appear to have a bluish hue and frequently curly shape when compared to other types of green, due to their unique processing and elevated moisture content.

Sumatra is the second largest island in the Republic of Indonesia and historically a major player in the world coffee trade. It was here along with Java, Sulawesi and Timor where Dutch colonial traders first introduced African arabica coffee trees in the 18th century. Since that time, those original varietals have been cross-bred and hybridized to create several, now indigenous Indonesian species like Ateng, Bergendal, Djember and TimTim.

Cupping Notes: Complex, pleasant herbal aroma with fresh spices, cedar, apple, tropical fruits and floral accents. Notes of brown sugar, bittersweet chocolate and caramel. Creamy and buttery medium body with balanced acidity.
Producer: Small Farm Holders
Owner: Ketiara Women's Cooperative
Region: Aceh Region, Gayo Regency
Variety: Bourbon, Catimor, Typica
Processing: Semi Washed (Wet-Hulled)
Altitude: 3,608 – 4,757 ft (1100 - 1450m)
Coffee Grading: Grade 1
Classifications: Fair Trade, Organic
Harvest: September - June