Sweet, rich, with an impressive balance of dry acidy notes and sweetness. A combination of slightly fermented fruit and musty earthiness reads here as a fine intrigue of papaya, raisins and chocolate.
Roast: Dark Medium
Processing: Semi - Washed & Sun Dried
Altitude: 1200 - 1600 M.A.S.L.
Harvest: October to June
12 oz. Handcrafted Fair Trade/Organic Coffee
Permata Gayo was founded in 2009 after many years of planning and community organization after the tsunami. Many groups that were established before the natural disaster were never able to re-form. Permata Gayo has been a leader in clean and consistent quality since its beginning despite the challenges of geography, infrastructure, and competitive local pricing, separate from NY’s Arabica market.
Today the cooperative is made up of roughly 3,100 producers from 34 different rural villages in Aceh, where 13 different languages are used in the region. Each farmer harvests the red ripe cherries before turning them into their village’s “kolector” who pays 70% of the coffee’s value as a down payment. The kolector will then depulp the coffee, let it ferment in a pile for 15-20 hours, before washing off the mucilage, and drying it down to 50% humidity and delivering it to the main collection warehouse in the Bener Merah District, near Takengon. The warehouse first dries it to 40% humidity before hulling the coffee, then drying it again down to 13% humidity. This process is unique and is one of the factors that gives Sumatra beans their dark bluish green color. Once the coffee is exported and sold, the remaining payment is distributed back to the farmer.
Permata Gayo has used their Fair Trade Premiums each year for projects that have been voted on by the General Assembly meetings in a democratic process. Some funds have gone to help in the areas of technical assistance within villages while other years the FT Premium has been used to preserving the local culture, in music, song and dance. In 2012 Permata Gayo organized classes, paid for tailored costumes, and had an instructor teach adults and children about traditional dances and songs to preserve their cultures that were being forgotten or ignored by new generations.
Fair Trade has also been instrumental in providing information about environmental quality and health. One member states, “Before Fair Trade membership, we didn’t care about the dangers of pesticides and chemicals. But with Fair Trade we received training and have reduced their use on the farm. We’ve learned they are not good for our health, so we don’t use them anymore.”
Permata Gayo supports its sister cooperative KOKOWAGAYO with training and export services, guaranteeing consistent and exceptional quality. While the concept of an all-women’s cooperative in the region is innovative in the primarily Muslim Ache region, it is a natural progression as girls receive equal education and women business leaders become increasingly prevalent.