Sumatra is a culture-rich Island. You find many ethnic groups that each have their own myths, dialects, and clothing. These elements reveal the diversity of the Island. The same diversity and complexity can be found in Sumatran specialty coffee.
The Island has a hot and humid tropical climate, dense forests, and rich volcanic soil. All perfect conditions for coffee trees to flourish. Coffees from Sumatra are often earthy, thick bodied, spicy, and reveal notes of licorice root and dark chocolate.
To give you more context on Sumatra as a coffee origin, we have created the ‘Coffee Regions of Sumatra’ map: showing the locations of our partners, the Regencies in Aceh and North-Sumatra, and important – iconic – landmarks.
The map of Sumatra zooms in on Aceh and North-Sumatra: where our prime suppliers are located. In the Central Aceh Regency, next to the Lake Tawar, you find two Co-operatives that we work with: The women-led Ketiara Co-operative and the Sara Ate Co-operative.
And in North-Sumatra, in the regency of Dairi next to Lake Toba, you find the Sidikalang PODA Coffee Group. Besides the locations of our partners, the map shows the many Regencies of Aceh and North-Sumatra, the lakes, mountains, largest cities, and airports.
Both Aceh and North-Sumatra have a host of ethnic groups. In Aceh you find the Gayo people, that mainly inhabit the Regencies of Gayo Lues and Central Aceh. In Dairi and Pakpak Bar you find the Pakpak people. The Mandailing people originate from the Mandailing Natal regency.
When searching for Sumatran coffees, you often find Gayo or Mandheling coffees. Both Gayo and Mandheling (derived from the Mandailing people) are used as trade names. All ethnic groups, that cultivate coffee, are eager to leave their mark – an act of pride. The smallholders of Dairi and Pakpak Bar recently introduced their new coffee: the Sumatra Pakpak.