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  1. Sumatra Video: Aceh in October (Long Edit)

    Sumatra Video: Aceh in October (Long Edit)

    Video visits to coffee farmers and millers around Aceh Sumatra

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  2. Sumatra: Arabica Varieties in Aceh

    Sumatra: Arabica Varieties in Aceh

    This is a list of coffee varieties / cultivars found in Aceh and more broadly in Sumatra, Indonesia

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  3. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    A Sumatra travelogue in photographs, focused on Aceh area around Lake Tawar and Takengon town

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  4. Quick Guide to our Rwanda and Burundi Coffee Sale!

    Quick Guide to our Rwanda and Burundi Coffee Sale!

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  5. Rwanda and Burundi Coffee Quality is Still Undervalued

    Rwanda and Burundi Coffee Quality is Still Undervalued

    These neighboring landlocked East African countries have great coffee, yet how do they rate next to others? Lets see...

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  6. Timor No Leste

    Timor No Leste

    Posted from the road, some thoughts on coffee from East Timor (Timor Leste) and working with small holder farmers.

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  7. Roasting Flores Gunung Gedha on a Popcorn Popper and Quest M3s

    Roasting Flores Gunung Gedha on a Popcorn Popper and Quest M3s

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  8. The Flores Factor

    The Flores Factor

    Crowd pleasing coffee from a promising origin.

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  9. Discussion: Burundi & Global Coffee Market Issues

    Discussion: Burundi & Global Coffee Market Issues

    Sign up for this informative talk about issues surrounding global coffee pricing and small holder farmers.

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  10. Burundi in Photos, May 2019

    Burundi in Photos, May 2019

    A few photos and a cursory introduction to the issues facing Burundi coffee this season

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  11. A Second Look at 4 Ethiopian Coffees

    A Second Look at 4 Ethiopian Coffees

    We took a second look (and taste!) at 4 Ethiopian coffees from our 20% off sale.

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  12. Video: Guatemala 2019 Coffee Clips

    Video: Guatemala 2019 Coffee Clips

    A few fairly low tech clips and some thoughts on coffee processing and coffee buying in Guatemala.

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Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

Nov. 1, 2019

The standard “History of Coffee in Indonesia” goes something like this. The Dutch sent coffee seeds to their colony in Batavia from India in the late 17th century, but it wasn’t until the coffee blight (leaf fungus) of the 1880s that they started planting it beyond the plantations of Java. So Sumatra did not have any coffee planted until the late 1880s when arabica seeds were planted in the cultural area of the Batak Mandailing, North Sumatra.
The spread of coffee is not often considered in relation to the brutal Aceh War of 1873-1904, although the brutality of the would-be colonizers, the Dutch, and the resistance movement existed before and well-after those years. The Dutch colony was near bankrupt funding their attempts, military and otherwise, to take Aceh under their rule, to consolidate their territory while warding off the British and French.
Aceh was rich in natural resources, namely a hugely valuable crop in black pepper. Coffee also filled the coffers of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and funded colonial domination, so bringing it to the less volatile Mandailing Batak area was a safe move. But it was not a benevolent act. Coffee farming was enforced as a way for the colonized to pay their colonizers: their crop was delivered to the Dutch as a tax. And that funded the war against the Acehnese, the scorched-earth tactics of the Dutch including wholesale slaughter of villages, of noncombatants, of women and children.
I realize that’s a grim introduction to a travelogue about the joys of Aceh, and the wonderful coffee that can be found there. But I guess I feel it’s important to make note of the historical basis for the coffee crop in Sumatra, and recall that the history of coffee in not always pretty. Yes, we can still enjoy our coffee … but maybe with some context we will have a better conversation while doing so. -Thompson

 

 

  1. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    A wall of Gayo coffee.

    Generally coffee is not planted too close, but the type of pruning can maske a dense wall of coffee shrubs in Aceh. Bener Merieh area.

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  2. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Hand sorting of defects

    We visit first with Rafi of Utamagro Coop in Bener Merieh, where they are hand-sorting a lot for Australia.

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  3. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Defect coffee sorted out

    Defects from th tree, processing, and wet-hulling are sorted out. A black bean is a plant issue, but crushed or broken seeds are from the huller.

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  4. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Asalan and Labu

    There are different names for coffee in Indonesia at different process stages. On the right is Labu (which means pumpkin), coffee that is wet and white because it was just wet-hulled. Asalan is dried coffee, more green color, but not yet sorted.

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  5. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    The Cafe Jam Band

    Next stop at cafe for espresso and jam with the owner! This is a prime example of the new Roastery Cafe scene in even the smaller towns of Indonesia, with coffee farms just out the front door.

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  6. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    As direct as it gets.

    They are growing the coffee they roast within their own extended family, or from neighbors. This is in a town of maybe 15-20 shops, along a road to Takengon town.

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  7. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Local roaster in many senses

    The coffee comes from the community, and even the roaster is local... the machine! Good roasters are being made in Bali, Jakarta, and Surabaya.

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  8. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Gayo and Aceh food.

    Aceh is the autonomous part of Sumatra where we are, and Gayo are the people from the mountains. They are distinct cultures and languages. While we are in a Gayo area it is mixed ... this amazing meal is Acehnese. Lunch is the main meal of the day - and the best!

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  9. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Processing for export

    After a super lunch of lake Tawar fish, we stop by a mill preparing a lot for Australia export by Daniel. The gravity sorter is really THE most important single piece of equipment in the milling, but this lot is hand-picked after,.

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  10. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Super Giling Basah

    Wet-hulling is called Gilig Basah in bahasa language, and there is a trick to get a nice smoothj appearance, which is hull the coffee when it is still warm from the drying patio, and at a higher moisture, like this lot. It risks breaking the coffee though,

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  11. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Farm visit with Aulia

    We head off on scooters to meet Pak Aulia, who has supplied us with wet-hulled and honey-process coffee from his area. Aulia is a collector and a farmer, part of a community of younger coffee people in Takengon

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  12. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    TimTimTim

    Pak Aulia shows some of the Timor hybrid coffee common to Aceh, called TimTim here and in other growing areas. There are multiple types of Timor Hybrid cultivar.

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  13. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Rambung

    This farm has a lot of longberry coffee (TimTim also can have an elongated bean though). This is called Rambung or Abyssinia 7 . While it has a long form, any direct relation to Ethiopian coffee or old cultivars is not clear, and rather unlikley.

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  14. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Hibrido de Timor - TimTim

    TimTim looks similar in many ways to the Abyssinia types (there is also Abyssinia 3). The leaf is broader generally and it has a different nodal structure; Boith have bronze color new leaf.

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  15. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Impact of weather

    While Sumatra has few distinctr wet and dry periods (June-July is dryest in Aceh), this year was especially extreme while the cherry was developing. The result was damage to cherry and bean, especially with the Ateng variety like this cherry.

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  16. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    TimTim and Abyssina3

    We visit a different farmer block to see the difference between Tim Tim and Abyssinia 3 varoety. AB-3 is more elongated and larger generally than AB-7 or TimTim, though I would point out you can find roundish beans on an AB-3 tree and long ones on a TimTim plant. These 4 TimTim cherries are quite small

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  17. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    AB3, Abyssinia-3 Longberry

    You can see why I have decided to call this "hot dog coffee". Incredibly elongated bean form.

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  18. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Aulias Friends Coffee Drying House

    If any place needs indoor drying, protected from the frequent rains, it's Indonesia and Aceh. I took a lot of photos this trip of covered drying structures, sometimes called parabolic dryer for the shape. This one, new and basically built from a kit bought in the capital Medan.

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  19. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Traditional Patio Drying

    Next day we are visiting with Pak Irham, a well-establihsed and respected coffee supplier from Aceh. His daughter Ina manages all the export from Medan. Here their drying patio neat Takengon town. I have been here a couple times before I realize - once even back 12 years ago!

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  20. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Pak Irham Land Cruiser

    I have to respect a person who lovingly restores a classic and beautiful Toyota Land Cruiser like this. 40 series? You don't see many in Aceh but likely nothing could stop this beast...

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  21. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Irham Komasti Variety Plot

    Ina and Pak Irham take usa to their new plantings of "improved varieties" of coffee, ie those with good production and resistence to leaf fungus. Komasti is one of the newer types to come from ICRI research center. I have not cupped it yet, but supposed to be a better cup than other hybrids, or straight TimTim.

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  22. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Old Line S next to Komasti variety plot

    Pak Irham points out some beautiful old Line-S trees next to the Komasti plot. These have a nice cup quality, but don't produce so well, so not great from the farmers perspective. S-Line is also S-795, with origins in India. I find later it actually has Liberica genetics in its hybrization, which suprises me since the cup is generally nice.

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  23. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Line - S AKA S-795

    Detail of the fine pointed leaves of this variety. As with other older plants here, I see small leaves, a dwarfism that occurs over time as the tree ages it seems.

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  24. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Local coffee at Local Store run by locals

    We stop for snacks as Ina feels there will be a larger farmer group when we get toward the area they work in, and they will all want food! The shop is also processing coffee picked the day before. Here a typical pulper.

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  25. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Fermentation in a bucket

    In the wet-hulled trading system, the farmer picks, pulps and ferments the coffee in a bucket, usually just for one day fermentation period. They then wash it a bit in the bucket ....

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  26. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    ... And dry it

    Drying is usually on a tarp, a small patio, or a driveway. It's often done on the road too, making driving ariund it a bit tight. They coffee is then traded to a collector before fully drying, often at 40% + moisutre level. The collector takes over the drying from there, as well as the wet hulling (or if they dry down to 11-12%, dry hulling)

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  27. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Sukono Plot

    We visit Sukono's plot, who is a coop leader that delivers coffee to Irham. He basically spends the whole visit to his farm working, cleaning off the small shoots that emerge from the toip of the tree, to keep it in the low shape they prefer here.

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  28. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Umbrella Cut

    The umbrella cut stunts the tree heigh but also opens up a leafless bald spot in the top. This allows light and air to permeate the plant, and lessens the impact of fungus. But as the tree age, it becomes like this tree ... that is, old age balding pattern Sukono actually uses a brush to remove the small suckers growing from the top to maintain the open "umbrella" center.

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  29. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Ina Irham

    Ina is the dynamo behind the Irham IKA brand, coordinating samples, shipment and consolidations from Medan, whilke Pak Irham maintains the business among the farmers and traders in Takengon.

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  30. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Extended Harvest

    At Sukono farm, it doesnt take much to see how the maturation of fruit comes over a longer time, as even one branch has unripe coffee cherry in many states of growth.

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  31. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Sukono and Co

    That's how they roll in Gayo land, minimalist old Honda single that he bump starts . Daniel in the backdrop.

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  32. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Group of Pak Irham farmers

    Group photo of the farmers - biut while I was taking this a rascally gang of Ducks and Chickens ran off with the Roti we brough (donuts, basically). It's pretty funny to see a duck with a donut in its beak running off into the coffee trees. quack .

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  33. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Dogs of coffee interlude

    We stop for lunch of Mie Aceh (noodles) and, of course, dog photo.

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  34. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Asman Ariano

    Brewing some of his recent wet-process coffee for us. This area has nice coffee cherry but prices are higher than other parts of Aceh

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  35. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Asman Covered Drying

    Pak Asman has several greenhouses for drying coffee, and more in the middle of being constructed.

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  36. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Pak Asman Naturals

    Naturals are ideal in covered drying, as they would take 30+ days to dry on a patio. The covered drying traps a lot of warmth, even on an overcast day with scattered rain clouds

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  37. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Asman Fermentation

    Amazingly, he is doing the entire process in a combination washer-dryer, set on low agitation. Ok just kidding... his fermented coffees are left for a long time thriough 2 cycles and then a soak, totaling 36 hours. The climate at his site is cooler so this long cycle is needed.

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  38. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Pak Hendra, Muy Famoso

    Pak Hendra.is well known in the Indo coffee scene and is very popular among Jakarta roasters. Baristas will come to his facility and hand-prepare thier own lots for competitions. We bought washed coffee from Hendra many years ago, but did not know he was actually the supplier! The intermideary wouldn't tell us who was sourcing our coffee. But now we meet!

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  39. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Pak Hendra

    Hendra has many drying houses, some with raised beds and some with patio drying. His naturals take 14-20 days to dry, and these honey coffees take about 12-14 I understand.

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  40. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Ateng the Kitty Kat

    Under the drying bed, his kitten sleeps in the warmth. If I heard right, her name is Ateng, which is a coffee variety in Indonesia

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  41. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Vespa Classic

    A friend keeps his Vespa out front at the Hendra office. Like me - too many projects and not enough time.

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  42. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Sample Roasting at Hendra

    Hendra uses a Quest M300 for sample roasting ... dinosaurs are optional

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  43. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Cupping Time

    He set up a cupping of his various processes for coffee, which are numerous. He does different in-the-cherry fermentations, fully washed coffee, honeys and naturals, as well as "hydro-wash" which is like a mini-carbonic process. The Hydro Honey was my favorite.

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  44. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Beetle Buddy

    Amazed to see this giant horned beetle just hanging around outside the cupping room. I though someone had put in there - how could it have climbed there and latched onto this bit of string?

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  45. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    A dinosaur of Beetles

    But no it had simply landed there and wasn't moving. At about 4 + inches long it is the largest living beetle I have ever seen ... and quite slow and gentle. But I didn't pet it or nothing ... well ok just a little...

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  46. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Super Kitty

    Between cuppings, playing with the giant flash I brought, and trying to get Ateng to play with a string too.

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  47. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Dog Time

    It's time in this travelogue for another Dog of Coffee moment, at Hendras drying patio.

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  48. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    USDA 731 Seedlings at Pak Hendra

    USDA (called OOH-STA!) was brought by USDA for planting in the 1960s with origin in Ethiopia. The usual one found is 762, but this is an older selection of USDA, called 731 We drink natural USDA as a separate variety but with the process flavor of natural, I find it hard to distinguish variety characteristics.

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  49. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Spider Creature Feature

    The farms have a lot of these large spiders. I am sure they are harmless. Actually I am not sure. I just don't want to run into them!

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  50. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Damn Cute Cat!

    Ateng is a super poser, so the parting shot from Hendras is of course, some serious cat glamour.

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  51. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Shops of Takengon Series 1

    Some night time images of shops in Takengon town with flash, because I thought they looked interesting and a little otherworldly.

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  52. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Shops of Takengon Series 2

    Some night time images of shops in Takengon town with flash, because I thought they looked interesting and a little otherworldly.

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  53. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Shops of Takengon Series 3

    Some night time images of shops in Takengon town with flash, because I thought they looked interesting and a little otherworldly.

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  54. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Ducati Rice Harvester, Lol.

    Next day we traveled out the the 3rd district of Aceh with coffee, Gayo Lues Regency. At our first visit, I liked this "Ducati" rice cultivator so the owner wanted his picture sitting in it. Done.

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  55. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Rahman Cafe Roastery

    We met up with Rahman, who used to work with a large coop in Takengon but now is starting his own thing as a coffee collector in the Lues area of Pantan Cuaca. Actually he doesnt have a roasting machine yet but hey, it's just in the concept phase.

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  56. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Kopi Labu in Gayo Lues

    The huller at their place is 2 years old, and locally made. These need to generate a lot of friction to remove the parchment layer ... much more than a standard huller for coffee dried to 11%, as it is in the rest of the coffee world for wet-process coffee.

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  57. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Giling Basah - Wet Huller

    Here is their new huller - because the bean isn't fully dried, the parchment layer has no real gap between it and the bean. So that takes much more force to remove. The huller is much longer than one for dried coffee, which is how it generates more friction.

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  58. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Big motor!

    And this is what they need to power it! a 6 cylinder mitsubishi diesel truck motor. It's the works, with a transmission and no clutch. You shift it into gear with the lever and voom - coffee starts hulling...

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  59. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Three Caballeros of Gayo Lues

    Ahmed Ali, Rahman and Sahdi share the processing space for Pantan Cuaca coffee. Gayo Lues coffees aren't the highest elevation in Aceh, but we have really liked our Lues Cike and see potential for nice wet-hulled coffee here.

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  60. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Pak Baki - Coop leader and farmer

    We meet up with Danny Piatschek who is likely the most knowledgable and experienced person on earth about Gayo coffee. We head out to a farmer Pak Baki. He is head of local coop Prima Gayo.

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  61. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Dads scooter

    On the way, the daughter of a coffee farmer was playing on the scooter and making faces in the mirror as we passed by. Cute!

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  62. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Pak Baki - Gayo Lues farmer

    Pak Baki has an amazing farm under a nice canopy of shade trees. All his coffee are varieties of "longberry" but what they are specifically I wasn't sure. There seemed to be Abyssinia 7, TimTim, and perhaps some Abysinnia 3 too. Here, the classic Umbrella pruning.

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  63. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    The other main crop in Lues...

    Across the way we see a patch of lemon grass being cultivated. In fact it is everywhere in Lues, and a more major crop than coffee. There is a nearby factory to process it into an essential oil.

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  64. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Takengon Carts

    At night we get back to Takengon. Lues is aboiut 3 hours more or less, on a very windy road. Takengon has a lively food cart scene ... well... every town in Aceh and beyond has one!

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  65. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Sate Time!

    Sate in Aceh is special. They call it Sate Matang and its very nice. This sate was goat and quite good, but maybe not the best of the trip.

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  66. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Poseur

    I love these carts - he wanted his piture in front of his, which has rice and duck.

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  67. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Favorite Warung

    This cart was definitely my favorite. These are set up off the street in a special area for night time food and amusement

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  68. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Scary or ?

    And for the kiddies ... some pretty funny rides, as you can find in small parks or at events in Sumatra. Yeah, I know people like to see the creepiness, but is this stranger than seeing 6 year olds playing games on smart phones? really?

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  69. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Rides - Dormant

    I will admit, nobody seemed to be bringing the kiddos out for the rides while we were there. Chalk one up to the smart phones, again.

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  70. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Calling it a night...

    ... or a nightmare. Hotel art in Aceh can be very interesting, if not a little haunting. I like it! Edgar Allen Poe!

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  71. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Making tools the old way

    Just behind our hotel, a metal forge where they are making farm tools. No its not some "artisan" place, its just how they do it still. Aceh and the Amish!

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  72. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Drying coffee at Degayo

    We meet up with Darwin and Francesco of Degayo Coffee. Darwin is from here, Francesco is Dutch but has come here since the 1980s, and now they work sourcing coffee for their Kuala Lumpur cafe and other roasters in Malaysia and Thailand.

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  73. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Degayo Mini Truck

    Their business is a bit cooperative with local farmers and collectors: the community comes to dry their coffee here, and share the processing space, and then Degayo buys the coffee and completes the processing.

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  74. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Acehnese Food, Takengon

    We head out for lunch at the best Acehnese food place in town and it is really spectacular. Like padang food, you take many small plates and then they total up what you ate to charge you afterwards, just by looking at the detritus on your table!

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  75. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    So many options!

    We had about 8-10 different dishes and all were pretty damn specatcular. Even the ocean fish / tuna is fresh here, driven up from the coast a few hours away.

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  76. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    A good omen

    If a restaurant in Aceh has decor like this, you know you're in for something special. Then again, they all have something like this... hmmm

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  77. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    More Bondo than Metal

    Around Takengon, some pretty amazing vehicles. Nobody abandons a car until it basically is just a heap of body filler. Zoom in to appreciate the "chocolate frosting" texture here.

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  78. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Japanese Vans of Aceh

    Many cool vans here, mostly Suzuki like this little Carry model, and a lot of Mitsubishi colts and such. Not som many Toyota. I'm a little obsessed with vans...

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  79. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Shops of Aceh.

    Would you get your haircut here? I would for sure! And likely for under $2 too

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  80. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Roasting in Takengon

    We stopped at a cafe of Darwins' friend. Used to be there was a single roaster in a town and it was a big deal to see fresh coffee served. Now there are countless roasters in Takengon and everywhere, very exciting to see this shift

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  81. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Old Style

    But you can't completely get away from "First Wave" coffee ha ha. In fact this reminds me of the old jars in Tomoca cafe in Addis Ababa. You know what I mean? Sure you do!

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  82. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Walking in Takengon

    Ok - this one is a bit out there, reminding me of the Japanese character Kappa, the kinda frog-like spirit of water.

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  83. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Anything you can put on a scooter

    You, family, friends, kids and infants. It's a good thing these people can generally thread a scooter through the eye of a needle... they know how to do stuff like this...

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  84. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Plus, Vespa!

    It's not like parts of SE Asia, but the old Vespas are still here, loved, cherished and used daily like its no big thing.

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  85. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Legeran coffee house cupping with Aulia

    Next morning is our big cupping for all the samples we collected. It's a friend of Pak Aulia, but I am not really sure it has one owner. It seems more like a collective.

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  86. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Washed and Wet Hulled Round

    We separate the cleaner coffees from the more rustic so we are not cupping them together, which is definitely too much when trying to taste the funky Winey process, and other wild coffees.

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  87. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Danny Piatschek at Legeran

    Danny comes by, like a said, a true guru of Aceh and gayo coffee with a long history going back the Holland Coffee joint venture wet mill with the Aceh government. He was the manager of the wet mill, and still believes the best quality comes from centralizing and standardizing the cherry processing. It definitely is the best way to control quality

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  88. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Cupping Watchful Eyes

    The daughter of the roaster here was so funny and cute, a mixture of amusement and maybe a little suspicion of whatever the heck we were doing!

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  89. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Winey Coffee Process

    How many cafes have you been to where they bring coffee cherry in through the front and process it in the back, and roast / brew the coffee in the middle? They do it all here. This Winey process is stored in sealed bags to ferment coffee before pulping. I don't love it, but respect the fact that they do, and get great prices for it from local roasters!

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  90. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Winey Fermentation in Cherry

    A closeup of the cherry in sealed bags. While this "breaks the rules" for how many other origins process coffee (you are always supposed to pulp the seed out of the fruit when fresh, same day as picking) ... they are going for something quite different here. A very fruity/fermenty taste in the cup.

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  91. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Aulia and Takim at Legeran

    A great cupping that day of early season coffees. Actually the quality was quite remarkable given they were the first pickings for this November-Feb harvest cycle.

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  92. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Alex Greenhouse Drying

    After cupping we head out with Danny Piatschek to see a couple new mills, larger operations. This nice greenhouse is froma Jakarta guy who wants to do quality coffee en masse. I know him only as Alex, because he wasnt around. Likely hes out investing somewhere.

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  93. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Wawan Dry Mill Ste

    We head over to the more exciting project of Wawan, who has lived in Aceh with his wife and form a dynamic team with big plans for quality site here. There mill was impressive! But it was under construction. So I took a picture of their dog, who probably wasnt even their dog but just wandered in and sat down. Friendly guy tho!

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  94. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Island Time

    And with all that nasty terrible work out of the way, time to go surfing and snorkling in Banda Aceh area, and Weh Island!

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  95. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Beauty of Aceh

    I am so amazed by the beauty here (above and below the water line). Aceh is a wonderful place, from the coffee in the mountains to the wonders of the coast. I can't wait to return again.

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