Sumatra Holong Batak
For the third year in a row we are offering a unique Sumatra coffee, from the progressive coffee producers at Sriwijaya Coffee. This time we secured two coffees, one fully washed lot and the other natural processed, which we are combining for this offering. These two processing methods are uncommon in Sumatra, which is known for the wet-hulled method of parchment removal. This technique is a rare variant of the washed process, where the beans have their parchment layer removed before the coffee is fully dry. This is unusual for specialty coffee worldwide but is the norm in Sumatra. Sriwijaya Coffee focuses on experimention with different processing methods to come up with unique flavor profiles. This sort of experimentation has become common practice with coffee producers in Central America but is just beginning to spread in Asia.
The washed lot is pulped at Sriwijaya’s own wet mill, fermented in water, washed of residual fruit and then fully dried in its parchment under shade. The natural processed lot is harvested and dried on raised beds with the fruit fully intact, imparting distinct fruit flavors to the coffee. More importantly, for both methods, the coffee is completely dried in its parchment before being dry hulled. In addition to operating their own family farms, Sriwijaya Coffee also purchases coffee cherry from neighbors in the Lintong region, yet another unusual practice. In Sumatra, collectors typically purchase partially dried parchment coffee, often blending, and reselling it with traceability lost along the way. The neighboring farmers are well known to Sriwijaya, and they focus exclusively on heirloom Arabica varieties and not the more prevalently planted hybrids that have been crossed with Robusta species coffee. Sriwijaya also provides technical and agricultural assistance to the farmers, as well as critical infrastructure for the community. The company has helped with funds to construct bridges and a hydroelectric power station in the mountainous region.
The town of Lintong is located to the southwest of Lake Toba, it is a well-known coffee producing area but, also used as a trade name with loose geographic boundaries. Often coffee is brought in from other areas claiming to be Lintong coffee. The Batak people have been living near Lake Toba for centuries and have been working with coffee since it was brought to this region in the late 1600‘s. The word Holong means love in the local Batak language.