The inaugural Sumatran road-trip to our Tiga Raja mill has come to a close! This was a great opportunity for a variety of Five Senses staff (from accountant to technician!), along with baristas and cafe owners from our coffee family around Australia to get a hands-on experience of the origin supply chain.
Highlight summary from out QC & Sumatran guru Rich:
Meeting with Lisa and Leo at the Tiga Raja mill, visiting the Lima Putri farm, scooter rides around Samosir Island and a little unexpected visit to a very remote Samosir Island coffee farm.
Take a look at this Instagram summary for an overview of the trip – from some unique perspectives!
We’re pretty excited to send a bunch of Five Senses staff, along with baristas and café owners from our coffee family around Australia, over to our @tr_collective Mill to get their hands dirty at origin for the first time – stay tuned for updates from the road! For a quick snapshot of Tiga Raja, take a look at this video @richaustin captured on his previous trip.
Well my wifi dongle doesn’t work but a farmer leant me one of his, what a bloke. 💯 LT and I spent almost 24hrs in transit time yesterday to get to our hotel, including a gruelling 5hr van ride up a mountain. 😫 Today we visited the mill and are now off to a farm to pick cherries. 🍒 Will post more pics tonight in the sanctuary of our humble hotel room. || @cream_jrb || #creamgoestomedan #medan #sumatra #coffee #barista #fivesensescoffee
Today we visited a farm and harvested cherries. 🙋🏻♂️🍒We learnt how little the pickers make and how labour intensive the work is! To put it into perspective; what you pay for a single cup of coffee is what they make for the entire day of work. And they don’t get the luxury of an air-conditioned cubicle like a lot of us do. ☕️ Lots of respect for the farmers after today! 🙌🏼🙌🏼This photo is the cherries going through a ‘pulping machine’ and most houses have one. || #barista #sumatra #medan #creamgoestomedan #fivesensescoffee #coffee
Today is our first day up in the mountains around Lake Toba, Sumatra. Visited the Tiga Raja mill first the morning. Them off to Lima Putri farm to get hands on and pick some cherries of a particular variety to take back to the mill for their nursery. Tiga Raja is the only functioning mill in the mountains and was funded by 5 Senses. This means that the coffee doesn’t have to travel down to Medan for processing the intense heat, thereby improving quality and lowering the risk of microbial issues. Lima Putri is the farm of a local family who have a more direct relationship with the mill and from which microlots are being separated. The farmer able to send his 5 daughters to school as a result of the increase in consistent income as a direct result of his better quality crop and the relationship with the mill.
The video is not in the correct order, but it does show a lot of the processing stages at the mill. The correct order for the majority of Sumatran coffee from tree to export ready would be as follows: 1 Pick the ripe cherry 2 Farmer de-pulps the cherry 3 Left in a sack to ‘ferment’ 4 Farmer dries the coffee to approx 50-60% moisture content 5 Sold at market 6 Mill dries the coffee to approx 25-30% 7 Coffee is mechanically de hulled 8 Coffee is then further dried to 10-12% 9 Coffee is mechanically sorted by density and size 10 Colour sorter removes majority of primary defects 11 Coffee is hand sorted 12 Coffee is rated for one month 13 Coffee is export ready @tr_collective @5sensescoffee
Another day in the mountains of Sumatra around the north of Lake Toba. TL – Some ripe and unripe coffee cherries TR – Some of the women coffee farmers who sell to Tiga Raja. Teeth stained from chewing Betelnut. BL – Turning the coffee to achieve even drying @tr_collective. BR – A local hill as seen from one of the farms.
This is Leo, the owner and brains behind the Tiga Raja Collective, and we are on one of the farms that supply to the mill. 🌿 Leo, in conjunction with @5sensescoffee , have had an huge impact on the community by truly creating direct trade. We have met farmers that are now sending their children to school due to their new financial position, prior to this the children would have worked the farm and had limited options upon entering adulthood. ✔️ Loan sharks in Sumatra are a big problem, and again the Tiga Raja Collective have helped hundreds of farmers exit the continual spiral of debt they were once in. 😊 THIS is what lines the ‘specialty’ coffee market, so the next time you choose specialty over commercial, you are having a greater impact than you know. 💰 Wanna know more about specialty vs commercial and how to find the good stuff? Just DM me. || Follow @northshoreleo for his truly inspirational journey. || #choosespecialty #specialtycoffee #coffee #barista #creamgoestomedan #sumatra #medan #fivesensescoffee
Our crew in Sumatra visiting the Lima Putri farm to pick cherries for a coffee nursery they will plant in the following days! ^ @richaustin
You can follow their journey from the comfort your own home – brew up a coffee from #LimaPutri, processed at our @tr_collective Mill. Available on our website.
Time lapse of the stunning Lake Toba in Sumatra. This ancient super volcano has created the perfect coffee producing rim with rich volcanic soils and varied micro climates. Our @TR_Collective Mill is nestled in the North East corner of this large lake and relies on many of the growers that surround this huge mile high body of water. ^ @RichAustin
TL – Roasting local coffee from Samosir Island on a 3kg roaster at Tabu Cottages TR – Annette from Tabu took us to her favourite local organic coffee farm BL – Bush mechanics Tim and Josh fixing a bent bash guard BR – Inside of a cacao pod Heaps of fun and learning to be had yesterday riding around Samosir Island in our scooters, roasting on Tabu’s 3kg roaster and visiting a local coffee farm.
We were lucky enough to be apart of building a nursery and planting coffee seeds in the backyard of @tr_collective In roughly two years it will be ready to be roasted by @5sensescoffee and then turned into your daily dose by yours truly. How’s that for closing the gap? ☕️🌱❤️ || @cream_jrb || #5sensescoffee #coffee #barista #tigaraja #sumatra #creamgoestomedan || 📸📸📸 snap by @n_c_novak 🙌🏼
@tr_Collective mill trip has come to a close! Such an amazing time with an awesome group of coffee professionals. Highlight summary; meeting with @lisa.organicand @northshoreleo at #TigaRaja mill, visiting #LimaPutri farm, scooter rides around Samosir Island and a little unexpected visit to a very remote #SamosirIsland coffee farm. ^ @richaustin #FSCorigins #sumo16 #origintrip #sumatrancoffee
A corker of a snap from the boys recent trip to Sumatra! 👌🏼In this picture @5sensescoffee we’re passing down knowledge of farming to produce a higher quality harvest. 🙌🏼 And in the background is our very own LT along side Hoff, a roaster from 5’s, producing a text book photobomb. 💯 || snap by @richaustin 📸 || #canon #sumatra #5sensescoffee #creamgoestomedan #indonesia #travel #photography #coffee #coffeefarm #picoftheday #photooftheday