Sumatra (soo•maa•truh) is the largest island that is fully within the Republic of Indonesia and is home to roughly 55 million people. A leading producer in Indonesia's coffee industry, the size of Sumatra’s crop accounts for 74.2% of the country's total product.
Although the island of Sumatra is the leading producer of coffee in Indonesia, it wasn't actually the first island in the country to have coffee growing within its soil. Coffee plants were first brought to Java, Indonesia, from the Netherlands in the 1690s during the Dutch colonization period.
Currently, Indonesia exports around 67% of all its coffee production to foreign countries, bringing in $849 million every year. Unlike many other coffee-producing countries, a staggering 95% of Indonesia’s plantations are owned by smallholders, a term used for those who own or manage a small agricultural production. With over two million smallholders, this means many local families are supported by coffee sales made around the world.
Sumatra Tasting Profile:
Because of Indonesia’s rare variety of tropics and regions, it is a perfectly structured environment for growing and producing coffee. The island of Sumatra is specifically known for its vast assortment of character and flavor when it comes to the taste of coffee. The main factors that significantly contribute to the unique coffee we get from this region are closely tied to the nutrients found in the soil and the climate conditions of the area in which it is grown.
Giling Basah is a unique method used to process Sumatran coffee beans. This method allows the beans to develop a very full and concentrated flavor, complete with a light sprinkle of herbs and spices. This process also hulls the parchment off the beans at a large 50% moisture content, vastly higher than the typical 11-15% seen in other regions. This unique and uncommon practice gives Sumatran coffee beans their trademark flavor profile and signature color.