- On March 3, 2017
- coffee farms, DC coffee, indonesia, indonesian coffee, Sourcing Trip
By: Chris Vigilante
Location: Lake Diatas in Sumatra, Indonesia
Varietals grown: Sigararutang, Kartika, Lini S
Altitude: 1500 masl
Average farm size: 1 Hectare
Average annual production: 2-3 tons
In October 2016 we traveled to Indonesia, the largest archipelagic state in the world. We were searching for the best coffee being produced in this amazing and unique country.
Our hope was to find coffees that not only produced high scores on the cupping table, but were traceable, sustainable, and processed with high quality methods, for a clean, consistent flavor profile.
“Sumatra coffees are famous for their peculiar flavor profile, low acidity, thick body, and rustic flavors that can often be described as earthy.”
This profile is primarily a result of the Giling Basah processing method, rather than the coffee itself. We were in search for something different, however. We wanted a coffee that would go against this typical Sumatran taste profile.
We wanted a clean, sweet, and complex coffee that would be traceable to individual producers and that would allow for repeat purchases. We found what we were looking for at Solok.
The Vigilante team & the Solok Radjo team
Along our journey, we attended the first Barista Guild of Indonesia’s Trade Show and tasted over 75 of Indonesia’s best fresh-crop coffees. One producer’s coffees kept jumping out at us: Solok. Since Solok’s coffee were so captivating, we decided to visit the farm and learn more about its practices as well as to meet the people behind the operation.
What we found was a team of farmers and workers dedicated to producing fantastic coffees. In addition to an incredibly warm welcome, the crew at Solok explained their plans for expansion and hopes for making improvements to the farm’s operation in order to reach the quality they (and we) are searching for.
Solok Radjo plans to build washing stations & covered drying racks
Construction of the covered drying racks – a positive sign of a rise in quality in the near future. The Blue house in the background is where the owner of the farm and his family live.
Adi, of the Solok Radjo Co-Op, making us a pour over of a Solok washed process coffee.
Ashley, our Director of Wholesale, listening as we learn about a farmers plan to improve their coffees through a new washing station & covered drying racks.
Buy a Cup, Grow a Farm
We will be selling individually brewed cups of three unique coffees from Solok on our brew bar this weekend. Each coffee is processed in a different way (washed, white honey, and black honey), giving you the chance to taste the direct impacts processing methods have on the end result in the cup.
All sales from these coffees will be used to purchase new seeds and plant thousands of more coffee trees in Solok. Thus giving us plenty of good Solok coffee to look forward to in the future. This is the first time that a coffee from this Cooperative has been offered in the United States. Be a Vigilante, buy a cup, support a farm, and enjoy great coffee.
Tasting Notes: Solok, Sumatra
Caramel, honey aromatics
Caramel, fruity, creamy, honey
Spicy ginger and taro, clean