Our Sumatra Organic comes from Mahara, an exciting, young cooperative in Gayo that InterAmerican Senior Vice President Kayd Whalen had the pleasure of visiting in early 2019, just as our coffees were being packed for shipment.
Formed in 2015, Mahara has 460 organic-certified members spread across five villages and two sub-districts in the Central Aceh District. It has 12 delegates, 12 collectors and 12 buying stations that purchase cherry or parchment for members. With time, it hopes to encourage all members to deliver only cherry, to help centralize coffee processing and further improve quality—which already is enormously impressive.
The Mahara board is young and eager and learning all it can from the coffee experts around them; we found then to be truly driven to achieve the highest qualities possible, in the interests of their members. The co-op's Vision and Mission statements are about advancing the welfare of “members in particular and society in general.”
The group's enthusiasm stretches to the workers in the mill and warehouse. When Kayd visited the mill of Harapan Bersama (which supports the Mahara co-op), the young women managers were excited to meet a woman importer and excitedly asked to take selfies!
From visiting cooperative members high in the hills (where Kayd was told she was the first American to visit, and certainly the first woman), to cafes filled with young people enjoying high-quality Sumatra microlots, there’s a beautiful specialty culture blooming in Sumatra, and we’re thrilled to encourage this next generation of growers and producers and to share their coffees widely.
Cupping notes: Bright citrus acidity, notes of lemon, cedar, clean earth.