The average farm size in Sumatra is small, just one to five hectares across the country and different varietals can often be found growing together. Sumatran coffees are mainly produced by a unique semi-washed process which is sometimes described as "wet-hulled" and is known locally as Giling Basah. This style of production has dominated the export of coffee from Sumatra due to the market demand with little room for alternative processing. Now though there are regions in Sumatra now looking to diversify away from this method of processing and look to more traditional processes such as washed & natural. We have been able to work this year for the first time with the Suriyan group located in the Solok region of West Sumatra where they have been only growing coffee for the past 4-5 years. This drive has come from the local Government who have invested in small localised washing facilities to help promote this region and create a unique profile.
Located 3 hours from Padang the set up in the mountains of West Sumatra the Minang Solok people native to this area have begun to grow coffee in what was once more a traditional tea area. The Surian group is made up of 12 local regions with farmers within these groups owning 1 -2 ha. The groups will then deliver their cherry to the local mill which ran by Mr Edravanoid who returned to the region after working in the oil and gas industry for the government. On his return he helped set up the washing station and created a nursery initially to provide plants to the local farmers, so they could grow coffee alongside their rice crops. The funding for the These farmers have access to also an agronomist, Febriyansak who has mapped out all the farmers in the area using GPS and helps them with agronomy training to help improve the quality of coffee they produce.
Once delivered to the washing station the coffee cherry is separated for quality and then pulped before being leaving all the mucilage on the bean. It then left to dry for 1-2 days until it reached 35-40% humidity. The coffee is then hulled and dried further until it reaches 12-13% before being taken to Medan for sorting and shipping.