This is a region—and a coffee—like no other. Created by the largest volcanic eruption the earth has seen in 25 million years, Lake Toba gives farmers an extraordinarily fertile ecosystem for coffee cultivation. Its altitude, climate and volcanic soil are the first part of the coffee’s distinctive flavor; the rest comes from processing practices unique to the small-plot farmers of Sumatra.
After picking the ripe cherries in their backyard gardens, the farmers remove the pulp using homemade pulpers. They then let the coffee ferment overnight, waiting until morning to rinse the beans by hand and lay them out in the yard to dry. This combination of terroir and technique produces a stunning cup that combines low acidity with big, earthy flavors.