Sumatra Kerinci Nusantara


This Sumatra Kerinci Nusantara Premium Grade 1 is sourced from a group of smallholder farmers located in Kerinci regency, Jambi province of Sumatra, Indonesia.

A great read from our awesome importer:

Source Analysis by E. Gilman – “Having recently returned from the border of Kerinci and Jambi provinces at Gunung Kerinci, I can share the story of how the area is completely covered with intensive agriculture, fields of tea, red shallots, potatoes, and chili peppers stretching to the horizon in every direction but the volcano. The hum of tea shrub harvesters and pesticide sprayers starts at about 6am, just after the raucous motorbike frenzy as everyone heads out to the farms to start the day’s work. The only one getting up earlier is the muezzin.

This is traditionally a tea production area, and was largely uninhabited until the arrival of Dutch-led tea farms in about 1915. These weren’t fully established until about 1918, but began as a series of villages, or apdailing that were built only to house tea field workers, and were named simply by letter (Apdailing A, Apdailing B, and so on). That is to say, this area has been fully subsumed by intensive agriculture for over 100 years now. As time passed, each of these villages named themselves more creatively, and with more personality (a low bar, to be sure). With Indonesian independence came diversification of crops, and the ability for newly minted landowners to determine their future, though state-run tea plantations are still very much in operation. This is a generally prosperous area as a result, and many of the old families from Java that migrated here 100 years ago have become pillars of their community. Most have intercropped their land with coffee.

The coffee we’re talking about today is sourced from family-owned farms organized around an export
company and mill called PT. AgroTropic Nusantara (AGTN), which has been working with coffee producers
since 2013 in the Kayu Aro highlands of the Kerinci regency within the Jambi province on the island of
Sumatra, Indonesia.

AGTN has established an association of 680 producers who cultivate coffee on parcels of 1 hectare or less
around the Kerinci valley’s edge near Mount Kerinci, the highest volcano in Indonesia and home to the
Sumatran tiger. Through coffee AGTN has focused on supporting increased employment opportunities for
women, which includes a woman, Emma Fatma, as the director of operations. Women are also running the
coffee nursery program and handsorting at the dry mill.

Speaking of the nursery, AGTN has distributed over 1 million seedlings to the general area in recent years.
Some of the original proponents of arabica production and agroforestry programming, Emma, Muljadi, and
Sukianto (the leads at AGTN) have consistently pushed for abundant shade cover, reduction of herbicide and pesticide use, and organic fertilization programs. While many coffee shrubs are cut at times when coffee cherry prices are unsustainably low, they’ve also promoted pruning over complete stumping or uprooting of plants so that farmers will have a backup once prices inevitably recover.

Their wet mill at Sungai Lintang in particular has been developing and adding capacity over the past few
years and is now able to process 25 metric tons of cherry per day during peak harvest. Each of the processing areas from flotation to pulping and fermentation are separate. Waste material is used for compost, mulch, or animal feed. Unripe and underdeveloped cherries are separated by flotation, pulped, density-sorted in a channel, and fermented with fresh water. Finished coffee is then dried under parabolic covers either on clean patios or raised beds, then held in parchment or pod in their curing area to redistribute moisture evenly.

Another factor in maintaining quality and providing technical assistance is AGTN’s cherry selection and
purchasing process. While it is low-tech, the ‘plate method’ is effective. A standard 30cm dinner plate is filled with cherry. If only 3 green/unripe cherries are found, the picker gets top price. 4-6 gets middle price, and 7+ is rejected. As a result, folks tend to bring in their best selections, and only pick when ripe. Cherry is accepted from known farmers only, and if they want to participate, they need to register.

The nearby Kerinci Seblat National Park (the largest national park in Sumatra and a UNESCO World Heritage
site) is off limits to coffee production, and is an international destination for wildlife lovers, and bird watchers in particular. AGTN works closely with producers to decrease forest encroachment by using their coffee farms as a protective buffer for the Park, which encircles the entirety of Gunung Kerinci with its unparalleled natural beauty. This is a longstanding concern of Emma, Muljadi, and Sukianto, who have previously done work in forest conservation, beginning as early as 1986. Their life’s work continues on unabated here, and the sweet results of their efforts are clear in this eminently clean and delectable wet hulled coffee.”

Deep aroma with hints of cocoa, earthiness, and caramelized sugar. Rich and refined in the cup with nuances of dark chocolate, sweet cocoa, subtle earthiness, and light hints of cherry and lemon. Smooth, full body.