Starting early this year, we’ve been meeting, talking, and drinking coffee with other residents as well exchanging ideas and knowledge. On average all heads of households have coffee trees, but just a few each. Most of them have never drunk their own coffee. One day we bought coffee beans from them, roasted them, and returned it to them to try!
At present there are 13 residents who are interested in collaborating in the post-harvest process and selling coffee with us. Merbabu coffee is manually pulped, wet-milled, with a dry and honey process. This year it was truly microlot coffee – we labeled each bag with each household farmer’s name. At this stage each farmer is at a different level of quality so we can’t combine it into one origin until they reach greater consistency of quality.
For the roasting and display stage we collaborate with a local coffee shop, Aromia & Wijaya Roastery Salatiga. As a special development project, we are setting aside the sales profits from this village to invest back into it and help them establish a farmer co-op with processing equipment, such as a manual pulper and huller. We’ll see where this opportunity leads! Our goal is to give the farmers education and opportunity but the initiative must be theirs.