We recently took a trip to Indonesia to explore and learn more about coffee production on the islands. We’ve put together a photo journalism gallery of some of the best shots from our trip along with some fascinating insights on coffee production in Indonesia.
Consisting of more than 17000 islands, Indonesia is one of the most diverse coffee origins in terms of geographical and cultural diversity. Coffee has been at the center of trade ever since the Dutch planted the first seeds in the late 1600s. Every region has developed its own style of production and has its own set of coffee varieties.
Wet hulling is a way of processing that is unique to Indonesia. The main reason is that it offers producers a way to move their product to the dry mills more quickly, rather than having their money tied up in the drying beds. Another reason is the difficult drying conditions in Indonesia. At higher elevations it is humid all year round and there is inconsistent rainfall, making it difficult to dry cherries properly.
A producer will pulp his cherries on site and dry it on a patio for one day until it reaches around 35% moisture content. It is then moved to a collection center or straight to the hulling facility where the coffee gets hulled, dried and sorted until ready for export.
Our Mandheling comes from Sepanganbolon. The tree varieties are mostly Sigararutang and Typica. The farmgate price for cherry in this region is 10000 rupiah per kilo and 12000 for organic. Before 2010 there were few producers in the region growing organic cherry.
The mill can process 2 tons of parchment per hour. There has been support from the mill to assist farmers in growing organic coffee.
Wet parchment or cherry is bought from collection centers. They process the coffee until 16% moisture content, which takes between 1-4 days and 16-17% defects before sending it to Medan. The coffee is then fermented dry overnight and washed by agitation in an open tank.
How to use this gallery: use the arrow keys on either side of the photo to move left or right. Hover over the image to read the caption and learn more about Indonesian coffee production. Click on an image to enlarge and see it more closely.