Most of the famous Sumatran coffees come from the north part of the Island. Even if Northern Sumatran coffees are famous for its taste, is was almost impossible to find a lot of coffee from only ripe cherries.
After tasting a lot of Northern Sumatran coffees I took a flight south to an area where the first coffee harvest was only 4 years ago. We are now in Solok, in central Sumatra. It’s a big valley, a new and undiscovered area, and definitely a place I wanted to visit. I landed in Padang in the evening and started my trip towards Solok early in the morning. Solok is more famous for tea, and the view was spectacular. The road lingers through a valley, and big mountains stare at you from both sides.
After a four hour drive, we meet up with Pebriyansah who is an agronomist and handles the processing station in Solok. Pebriyansah is also an active member of the WWF and is working to preserve the tigers in the area.
Everything is different in Solok, compared to Northern Sumatra. There are no coffee “traditions” here, and also there is no big demand for a coffee from Solok, as is the case in Northern Sumatra. We found a lot of Caturra and Typica here (compared to mostly Tim-Tim in Northern Sumatra). The coffee is grown here at a very high altitude, almost 2000 meters which shows in the cup as very intense flavours.
Pebriyansah is young and the passion to do something great shines through. When taking into consideration that the first coffee from this area was grown only 4 years ago, it is astonishing to see how well developed everything is. All the berries purchased are carefully marked down, as well as the price paid for the crops. Only the most mature berries are accepted and the processing is accurately recorded.
The coffee we bought this year from Solok is their natural processed one, and we call it Solok natural. It is super sweet, cherry-like acidity, with notes of plum in the after-taste. It has some funk in it, but not too much, definitely worth a try. This is a place we definitely want to continue cooperations with, and we are sure their coffee will become better and better each year!