Sulawesi Toraja Sapan Minanga GR1. Like December’s Burundi, we are bringing you another coffee grown in a place, of which, you probably have never heard. Don’t worry, I had to look really hard to find it on the map, too. Also, like December, you will have to use your imagination to picture the place where this coffee is grown.
Picture yourself in the central mountain range of South Sulawesi. You look around and see low-land rice patties with thousand-foot rock walls on both sides. You notice there is a perpetual mist in the air always. The moist air fills your lungs while you continue looking around. You see groups of weird, boat shaped huts, homes of the Toraja tribe.
These people are the famers who grew this wonderful coffee and they still live in these boat shaped huts today and atop the rock walls is where they do it. These are some of the highest elevations in Indonesia and the coffee reflects that.
Recently, these farmers, with farms of less than 3 acres, have banded together to build micro-mills to improve the standard for processing the coffee beans. Each farmer sorts the cherries they have harvested, de-pulps them and lets them ferment overnight. The next day, they wash the cherries and lay them out on wet parchment to remove some of the moisture content of the beans. They then remove the parchment while the beans still have a relatively high moisture content. This process is called wet-hulling (Giling Basah in the Indonesian language). Next they leave the coffee beans to dry, exposed, to acceptable moisture levels. This results in the hallmark Indonesian coffee profile.
It’s a good one, folks. Unique in its flavor notes and body. Certainly a must try for any of you who want to continue drinking coffees from all over the world.
Photo credits: Agro Forestry World and Mission Coffee.