Toarco Company

Process the highest quality Indonesian coffee in the Torajan region of Indonesia

Year founded

1975

Partnered with Stumptown

2008

Varieties

Typica

Processing technique

Washed

What’s new

This year’s crop continues to reinvent how we think of Indonesian coffees — the cup is so clean and so bright.

The Producer

The Toarco company, based in Japan, has four decades of experience with Torajan Indonesian coffees. They are incredibly exacting, and collaborate year­round with farmers in the area to ensure perfect ripeness when the cherries are picked. They work with over 7,000 families, and continue to evangelize for coffee — when they spot a prime growing area, they’ll send the family coffee tree seedlings and train them on coffee horticulture.

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The Place

The Torajan people live in what they call the the Land of Heavenly Kings; emerald­-green mountain slopes are covered in palm trees and bamboo with Tongkonan, the Torajan traditional homes, dotting the valleys below. There, Christianity and Islamic traditions mingle with age ­old rites; the Torajan funeral ceremony often includes thousands of guests and the feasting can last days before the body is laid to rest in a high crypt carved out of a cliff.

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The Process

Toarco is the only producer in Indonesia to use Japanese rice driers, and is one of very few who cultivate a washed process coffee. Although it’s more expensive, the end result is a stable flavor profile that allows the uniquely Indonesian flavors to shine through. From tree to bean, Toarco upholds incredibly high standards, overseeing everything from picking to parchment drying.

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More Details

In November 2008, Stumptown began working with the Japanese Toarco Company who owns and operates the Pedamaran Estate and wet mill. Since 1975, they have been working with coffee farmers in the region developing the Toarco Toraja coffee using four strict quality standards: cup quality, altitude, number of defects, and size of the bean. They also instituted strict cherry ripeness standards, a clean and controlled fermentation process and parchment drying. They offer local small farmers and their families free seedling trees from the Pedamaran farm, computer training programs, and coffee cultivation and processing training in an effort to support the community and ensure that strict quality measures are met.

Sulawesian coffee in general has a cleaner, brighter aspect when compared to the traditional Indonesian coffee profile. Most of northern Sulawesi is planted with what Indonesians call Kopi Jember. Jember is a coffee research station outside of the Eastern Javan city of Surabaya. The researchers from this station were responsible for planting most of Indonesia with S795, the original Typica variety brought to Indonesia centuries ago from Africa via India. The producing culture in northern Sumatra and Aceh replanted their farms with the more productive Ateng, or Catimor, variety while the isolated farmers of Sulawesi luckily never uprooted their S795.

Our Sulawesi lot comes from five regions within Toraja: Sapan, Ke’pe, Minanga, Perangian and Pango Pango. There are 1,250 farmers that consistently work with Toarco to contribute to this lot. Each farming family owns approximately 1,200 coffee plants. Toarco instituted strict cherry ripeness standards and a clean and controlled fermentation process. They skin dry the parchment, then patio dry it before finally gently drying it to 10­12% moisture in rice dryers over the course of 48­-72 hours.

The Peaberry is hand sorted and separated from the flat beans during the dry milling stage, when quality separation occurs. In recent years it has been discovered that high quality Peaberry has a distinct sweetness and a higher density than its flat bean counterparts. This lot is comprised of only the highest quality Peaberry. Prior to exporting, each lot of coffee is cupped a minimum of four times: when it is purchased, after it is dried, after the final hand sorting, and finally before it is shipped.