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Sumatra Kayu Aro Nusantara

Christopher C.

Thursday, November 09, 2023

If you love Sumatran coffee, this month's Roaster's Choice is not to be missed. Sumatra Kayu Aro Nusantara is grown on 680 family-owned farms organized around AgroTropic Nusantara (AGTN). This coffee grows exceptionally high between 1,300 - 1,600 meters, where the coffee matures slower. This allows it its sweet time (emphasis on sweet) to develop notes of palm sugar, kiwi, and honeydew. For comparison, our Organic Sumatra grows at 1,220 meters, and a lot can happen in the space of 380 meters. It's safe to say Sumatra Kayu Aro is going to be a knockout. To balance out the coffee's prevalent fruit notes, we're bringing it to a medium roast to introduce Maillard palm sugar undertones. Imagine a juicy, fresh fruit salad with a smoky caramel drizzle—that's Sumatra Kayu Nusantara.

Though it produces top-notch coffee, Kayu Aro isn't known for it. Primarily a tea plantation since the early- to mid-20th century, Kayu Aro is not only the largest tea plantation in Indonesia, but it's the second highest in the world. Since tea grows best at high altitudes, intercropping with coffee works exceptionally well for Kayu Aro. (You'll taste it, don't worry.) The plantation is close to two of Indonesia's largest natural wonders: it's at the bottom of Mount Kerinci, an active stratovolcano that towers at 3,805 meters, and Kerinci Seblat National Park, which is Sumatra's largest national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Coffee cultivation is forbidden in the park, and AGTN works closely with its producers to both decrease forest encroachment and create a protective buffer for Kerinci Seblat.

Low-up photograph of coffee seeds drying in the sun with Mount Kerinci in the background.
Rows of coffee trees leading up to Mount Kerinci, an active stratovolcano, in the background.

But world-class coffee and tea aren't the only goals for Kayu Aro and AGTN—both are focusing on increased employment opportunities for women. Emma Fatma serves as the Director of Operations, overseeing the women running the coffee nursery and dry mill hand-sorting. Kerinci District has come a long way since the first Dutch tea farms sprang up around 1915 and Javanese families migrated to work the land, and with the work Kayu Aro and AGTN are doing, the future looks bright, beautiful, and delicious. It's perfection over 100 years in the making.

Everyone deserves impeccable coffee. Roaster's Choice is, by definition, impeccable coffee. Get a brand-new exclusive, microlot coffee delivered to your doorstep every single month. Available in three-, six-, and 12-month plans, we bring you mind-blowing coffees from all over the world with flavors you never thought possible in a coffee. This month's has notes of palm sugar, kiwi, and honeydew. Bet you didn't think coffee could taste like a kiwi. If you already think our coffee is amazing, you're in for a treat with Roaster's Choice. Bandwagons typically aren't cool, but this is one you're going to want to jump on. Ours has padded seats.

An infographic spread detailing a Sumatran coffee.


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