This year’s Sumatran season marks the production of the first ever natural micro lot to come from the Tiga Raja mill. This micro lot truly is a collaborative effort between the mill, Common Man Coffee, Five Senses and our ‘Limu Putri’ farm in Sidamanik.
Some time ago, we identified a small farm in Sidamanik, Simalungun and engaged with them via the Tiga Raja mill. The purpose was to impart farming practice improvements and so we promised to purchase all their cherries over this last season to develop a small, naturally processed micro lot. For a more detailed overview of the project, see my post here. The natural processing for this line has coincided with the peak season and we now have six bags of ‘Lima Putri’ natural — the name being a reference to the five daughters who make this farm so special (expect to see this in our line-up very soon). I’m very proud of the results of this project, both for what we have achieved for the farmer and the region and because of the quality of the product which I tasted as a pre-shipment sample.
To get such outstanding results on our first attempt at producing a micro lot is testimony to the way everyone in the chain has worked together; the risk was well worth the reward and we hope you think so too!
Lisa Matthews has been working hard at the mill, project managing this small micro lot idea into fruition. She has gone above and beyond for this project, lending her expertise all the way through the production chain — from implementing farming improvements donated via our partners at Common Man Coffee, personally donating shade trees, physically collecting cherries, hand drying, milling and even hand sorting the crop. Lisa and the Tiga Raja crew have been an integral part of this project’s success.
Lisa has just completed an end-of-season report to update us all on the project and in the report she offers her insights into many of the difficulties she has faced over this first trial season. Those experienced in the agricultural side of coffee production (and especially those who understand the control and precision needed for natural processing) will appreciate what we have been able to achieve over the short space of one season. This is testimony to both the level of control we have through our experts at the Tiga Raja mill and the willingness of the farmer to take on change and put into practice both short and long term farming improvements. It’s incredibly difficult to change cultural habits in one season, especially those that force greater outlay with only the promise of bigger future returns. The aim of this project has always been to focus on the bigger picture, take on the risk and help this farmer see further ahead than a single season.
If you have an opportunity to taste this natural in coming months, enjoy knowing exactly where this coffee comes from and how the brew you are sipping has a ‘bigger picture’ focus. We are aiming for future micro lots from this farmer, but much hinges on the logistics. Regardless, our Tiga Raja mill has committed to purchase this farm’s coffee in cherry or parchment form for the foreseeable future.