Coffee was first planted in Sumatra by Dutch colonialists in the late 1600s under the guidance of the Dutch East India Trading Company – or Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC). Between 1602 and 1796, the VOC sent almost 1 million Europeans to work in the Asia trade, importing more than 2.5 million tons of Asian goods. Since then, coffee has remained a crucial part of the economy in Indonesia.
Today, farm sizes in Sumatra are small, averaging only 1 to 5 hectares. They produce coffee mainly using a unique semi-washed process that is sometimes described as “wet-hulled” and is known locally as Giling Basah. This method brings about more body and often more of the character that makes Indonesian coffees so unique and recognizable, with flavors ranging from deep chocolate to tangerine funk.
Westrock focuses its efforts in Sumatra on Organic certified coffees. Our Organic Sumatran Blend highlights the coffees purchased from this origin and we are proud of the change it has created through increasing wages for farmers.