Indonesia - Sumatra Gayo - 25 Day Anaerobic Natural

Indonesia - Sumatra Gayo - 25 Day Anaerobic Natural

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Origin: Indonesia
Sumatra Gayo, Aech Province
Farmer: Smallholder Farmers
Farm Size/Elevation:
1500-1600 MASL
Processing Facility: Local Dry Mill
Varietals: Typica, Abyssinia, Catimore, P-88
Processing Method:
25 Day Anaerobic Natural
Tasting Notes: 
Blackberry Syrup, Cherry Liqueur, Pineapple Brûlée

Volcanic ash from the 120 active volcanos, combined with the fast decomposition of organic matter on this humid island makes the soil in Sumatra rich with nutrients that coffee trees love. Grown on the northern part of the island in the Gayo district by smallholder producers, our newest Indonesian bean showcases the evolution of coffee processing in that part of the world. A combination of the coffee being grown by many small producers, the terroir of the island, and the intensive processing, this coffee has exceptional body and deep complexity.

The Indo-Pacific region of the world has to approach natural coffees in a different way than doing a similar process to coffee in Africa or South America. The humidity of the area means farmers drying their small harvest at the farm is not a feasible option and even drying at lower, less humid elevation takes more time. As an alternative, in the past, farmers would use small, hand-cranked, pulpers and a bucket to remove the skin and as much of the coffee fruit as possible from the seed before starting the drying process at their farm. After the first drying phase the coffee would be transported to larger mills and processing facilities at lower elevations with large concrete patios to complete the drying process. This traditional method, referred to as semi-washed, still resonates in some of the processing in the region today, but significant changes have happened, including the move to some modern processing like this Anaerobic Natural. 

This coffee is first rinsed clean to remove any debris before the coffee cherry is sealed in airtight containers beginning the first stage of anaerobic fermentation causing the sugars to break down. Once the anaerobic fermentation is done, after 25 days, the coffee cherry is rinsed clean and dried as a whole for and additional 25 to 40 days depending on the humidity in the region. This two tiered fermentation referred to by the producers as the "wine process", encourages a thick syrupy body to develop. The aromatics are boozy and tart, and as you drink it you will find a sweet tropical brightness, with a lingering blackberry finish. We were most reminded of blackberry syrup on pancakes.