This small-farmers focused co-op grows and processes coffee from a handful of villages that make up the Bies Penantan community.
Partnered with Stumptown:
Jember and Adsenia
Renovations to the dry mill here have been completed, enabling the co-op to continue its meticulous processing.
Ibu Rahmah is the Chairwoman for Ketiara which prides itself upon remaining a female led cooperative that redefines what Indonesian coffee can be. Although they live in a strictly Muslim region, they’ve had the freedom to establish a co-op that is producing some of Stumptown’s most singular coffee. They are a perfect example of the incredible quality possible from Sumatra. Besides coffee, they farm avocado, orange, banana, pepper, ginger, turmeric and more.
Indonesia’s Takengon and Bener Meriah districts are known for sometimes producing cloudy, muddy coffees with too much body. However, the beans produced by the Ketiara Cooperative have stunned us with their round, soft profiles. Although they use some very old-school techniques that are unique to Indonesia, they have struck the perfect balance between old and new.
This group of farmers came together in 2009. Their incredible attention to detail, including soil quality and a painstaking wet-hulling process, allows the earthy funkiness of Indonesian coffee to live in a clean cup. Part of this process includes the removal of the parchment — the thin layer around the coffee bean — much earlier than our other producers.
Bies Penantan consists of coffee cultivated by farmers within the Bies Penantan community. Previously, Bies Penantan was considered one village, but now a handful of villages make up the Bies Penantan community.
In 2009, 38 people established the Ketiara Cooperative. They restructured their cooperative two years later to focus on small farmers. Ibu Rahmah is the Chairwoman for Ketiara which prides itself upon remaining a cooperative led by women. Over 200 producers contributed to the lot, some of whom are ethnic Javanese women who became widowed and displaced after the civil war. They plant their coffee under Lamtoro trees integrated with their other staple crops. The entire membership of Ketiara splits evenly between Gayonese and Javanese.
The Ketiara Co-op understands the importance of preparing the land, cultivating seedlings, and pruning. After the harvest, farmers transport the cherry to be depulped, fermented and then the parchment covered beans are dried in the sun to about 30% moisture content. After they remove the parchment by hulling the beans (known as wet-hulling since the parchment retains so much moisture), the still wet beans are then dried in the sun for a second time (to about 18% moisture content). They then use a Sutton machine to sort the beans. Finally, they dry the beans one last time, hand sort the coffee for quality assurance, then pack it up for export.
In 2015, Ketiara obtained Organic certification for the farmers in the Bies Penantan community. They renovated their entire mill and updated some of their processing equipment. They purchased new sorting equipment which improved the quality of the Bies Penantan lot. Their efforts produced a beautiful example of Sumatran coffee at its best.