Sumatra coffee is typically produced on smallholder farms in tiny plots scattered over high-terraced plateaus of clay. The coffee grows without shade and without chemicals. Each farmer takes responsibility for the initial stages of processing their small crops. They remove the skin of the cherry with hand-operated backyard milling machines, allow the pulp-covered beans to ferment overnight, hand wash them in the morning and then allow them to dry on clay or canvas sheets in their front yards. Parchment removal and a second drying are done at a middleman’s warehouse, a third drying and sorting is done at the port of Medan before shipping
Whether it’s due to the soil and climate or the primitive processing methods, the qualities of Sumatran coffees are truly unique.