Located in the Gayo Highlands of Sumatra, the KOPEPI Ketiara Cooperative cultivates coffee at elevations between 900 and 1700 meters above sea level. The area's soil is suitable for the production of Arabica coffee and these plants have grown in the region since 1908 and are now recognized globally for their rich flavor and strong body. The cooperative uses the wet-hulled or semi-washed processing method which is called 'Giling Basah' in the local language.
The Koperasi Pedagang Kopi Ketiara is a women-run cooperative with over 890 grower-members who cultivate coffee on more than 830 hectacres of land. The cooperative produces 100% shade-grown Arabica coffee. Member farmers are located around the Lut Tawar Lake in the Gayo Highlands in the district of Takengon and Bener Meriah, Central Aceh. The area is a mountainous, tropical forest within the Leuser Ecosystem.
The current chairwoman, Ibu Rahmah, founded the cooperative in 2008 and has also operated and managed her family's coffee business for 20 years - purchasing cherries, processing the green coffee and selling to local traders. The commitment of the coop's women managers to have all members working together in support of coffee production has enabled Ketiara to expand and become an important suppliers to larger coffee traders in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra.
Additionally, after much discussion, the members voted to become Organic and Fair-trade certified in 2012, in order to use these proceeds to create programs for health, education and public infrastructure projects that will benefit all co-op members.
Medium-Dark Roast is recommended to bring out the heavy, rich flavors in this Sumatra Coffee.
Image credit: "Cherry Basket" by Dennis Tang is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / Cropped from original