At Tower Roasting, we carefully consider the origin of each of our hand-selected beans. We choose farms using sustainable practices that not only consider the environment but also invest in the people involved in growing the coffee.
With this in mind, we’ve chosen our single-origin, Grade 1 Sumatran coffee from farms organized through family-operated exporter, Gayo Mandiri, in the Aceh region of northern Sumatra. These farms produce some of the most delicious coffee of the region and we love how the collective supports their producers!
Region Bener Meriah Regency, Aceh Province, Sumatra, Indonesia
Harvest October – January, April - June
Altitude 1400 - 1600 masl
Soil Volcanic loam
Process Wet-hulled and dried in the sun
Certifications Fair Trade, Organic
The History of Indonesian Coffee
Sumatra is the second-largest island in the Indonesian archipelago, and it is the fourth-largest coffee producer. Indonesia was the first place, outside of Arabia and Ethiopia, where coffee was widely cultivated.
Dutch colonialists first brought coffee cultivation to Indonesia in the 1600s. The first crops were shipped from Java to Europe in 1717 by the multinational Dutch East India Company. The northern highlands of Sumatra proved to be ideal for growing coffee, and its cultivation started in the late 1800s.
Today, more than 90% of Indonesia's coffee is grown by small farms averaging around one hectare in size. Many farmers’ cooperatives and exporters are internationally-certified to market organic coffee.
The Unique Coffee Terroir in Aceh
The Aceh (pronounced AH-CHEY) highland territory, surrounding Lake Tawar and the central city of Takengon, is considered to be the epicenter of one of the world’s most unique coffee terroirs.
The coffee is grown in harmony with the surrounding tropical forests, which are teeming with life. The canopies are loud, and fields are almost impenetrably thick with coffee plants, fruit trees, and vegetables, all of which are constantly flushing with new growth.
Year-round mists and rain showers never cease. Farm floors are spongy and deep with layered biomass. This fertile area creates a long growing season. Coffee ripening occurs ten months out of the year.
Coffee farms in Aceh region are managed with the experience of many generations of cultivation.
Cooperative Processing Ensures Quality
Gayo Mandiri is a family-operated exporter based in Bener Meriah, a broad district that encompasses the mountains along the north shore of Lake Tawar. Gayo Mandiri works with local cooperatives, operates a central dry mill, and promotes a relationship-based sales model with their buyers.
Coffee grown by these small farms is typically processed by task instead of a single individual or team. Every village in the cooperative has a collector (or more) who receives fresh-picked coffee cherry for washed processing each day. Once a batch of coffee has been depulped, fermented overnight, washed clean, and then sun-dried to the touch, each collector then delivers the batch to the cooperative’s central mill. At the mill, the coffee is mechanically wet-hulled, leaving behind just the soft, high-moisture coffee bean, and then spread out on large patios to continue drying.
Each handoff is orchestrated by the cooperative, and the members’ coffee is traced throughout each step of the chain.
Gayo Mandiri Supports Local Farmers
CV Gayo Mandiri identifies itself as “Gayo”, after the Gayonese ethnic group which has long made Aceh their home.
Regional coffee distinctions in the northern provinces of Sumatra are interestingly all based on human ethnicity, rather than geography itself, which unfortunately has muddled the island’s traceability over time. That’s why it is often better to work with an exporter that is working locally and supporting the community. Gayo Mandiri is personally invested in their community’s success. It regularly distributes farming tools and cash dividends to cooperative members, as well as invests in drying tents for their central operations to reduce the risk of coffee spoilage.
The Rich Flavor of Our Mandheling Sumatra Roast
Sumatra coffee is sweet with hints of butterscotch and spice for a creamy chocolate finish. Its earthy, full-bodied flavor and low acidity make it a favorite of coffee gourmets. A true national treasure, Sumatran coffee beans are a deep, jade-like blue-green before processing and gleam like baskets of semi-precious stones.
Our organic, fair trade Sumatra Mandheling is a medium roast, Single Origin Sumatran grown in the Aceh region of the island. Connoisseurs prize aged Sumatran beans grown in Aceh because the aging accentuates their spicy, earthy notes. It is literally the best of the best coffee in the world, partly because of where it’s grown, and partly because of the wet-hulling process used throughout the coffee’s supply chain.
Try our single-origin Mandheling Sumatra in Coffee Pods or Whole Beans. We also blend our Sumatra beans in our Revolution Blend — along with our Brazilian Beans — for a full-bodied, medium-dark roast with flavors of apricot, almond butter, and chocolate. Enjoy them both and elevate your coffee experience.