Coffee Sources & Varieties

Wet Hulled

The wet-hulled process, sometimes referred to as semi-wash, is a hybrid coffee method used in parts of Indonesia, especially Sumatra. It results in a dark, opal-green coffee with little silverskin clinging to it, and a particular low-acid, earthy, heavy body flavor profile.

In this method, the farmer picks ripe coffee cherry, pulps off the skin and either dries it immediately for one day, or lets it sit overnight in a bucket (with our without water), then washes it the next day and dries it.

In either case, the coffee is partially dried with some or all of the mucilage clinging to the parchment-covered seed. It is then dried to 25-30% water content, and run through a wet-hull machine. Friction strips off the parchment, and the bean emerges swollen and whitish-green.

Then it is dried on the patio down to 11-14% moisture, ready for sorting, grading, bagging and export (explanation from 

    Full Wash
    Processing arabica coffee with a full wash method ensures an extra clean and consistent cup, which leads to a higher cupping score.

    After pulped, the coffee is soaked in a tiled tub for 24 hours to remove the mucilage.

    The full wash method also allows the farmers to separate the bad coffee seeds out using water and gravity.

    See  Demystifying Coffee Processing for more information on how processing affects flavor. 

    Honey (Pulp Natural)
    K2’s Honey Process is the same great Arabica coffee beans, but with a twist. The coffee beans are immediately hulled and then dried without being washed or soaked.

    The natural sugars from the mucilage are absorbed by the coffee bean which results in unique citrus and honey flavors that one doesn’t taste in coffee that is processed in the traditional way.

    Natural Sun Dried
    Naturally processed coffee beans are dried inside the fruit for up to one (1) month before hulled, which gives the natural sugars a chance to do it’s work, producing a sweet, berry or fruit-like taste. 

    A lighter roast brings out the unique flavors without being overbearing to the tongue.


    Other Coffee’s We Have Available

    You can see other coffees available and shipped from Indonesia through our Indonesian website. Some options available include wild free-range Luwak, our Luwak arabica blend, Sumatra Swirl, and winey process.  We hope to make these available in the US in the future. 

    Coffee Source & Varieties 

    Coffee Source
    The source for Gayo’s Best Coffee is a small coffee farmer group of about 18 families spread over 4 villages located past the city of Takengon, Central Aceh on the border of the Pegasing and Atu Lintang counties. The coffee is harvested at between 1550 and 1800 meters above sea level.

    Coffee Varieties
    The farmers have a mixture of different kinds of arabica coffee plants. The Indonesian names of the varieties are listed below with some extra information:

    • Tim Tim or Gayo 1. This arabica variety is a hybrid arabica plant that produces larger than normal coffee beans year round. Due to the big coffee cherries, the coffee is sometimes locally called Long Berry.  In the Gayo region, the Tim Tim coffee variety has received good cupping scores despite it being a newer arabica strain of the Catimor variety. Tim Tim has been growing in Aceh since 1979. There are over 70 types of Tim Tim trees now growing in the Gayo highlands  
    • Bourbon or Gayo 2
    • Ateng, Ateng Super, Ateng Pucuk Merah, & P88. These are other Catimor varieties that are commonly found in Sumatra and are more resistant to the leaf rust epidemic. 
    • Jember.
    • Sidikalang and Rambung. These are older coffee varieties that are from Typica and Abyssinia coffee trees.

    The Gayo’s Best coffee story begins with one farmer in Central Aceh with a vision for holistic development.

    After approaching development through a training center and model farm, Voster realized that the best way to make an impact would be to become a coffee farmer! It is with great pleasure that Gayo Best partners with the small coffee farmer group that has resulted from his efforts. Located in the Atu Lintang region of the Gayo Highlands, Voster and his team of farmers work hard to provide the best Gayo Arabica and wild Luwak Coffee available.

    We would love for you to become a part of our story and enjoy the coffee that the farmer group has worked so hard to produce. You can read the story behind the coffee on the Gayo’s Best Blog. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Is Gayo’s Best Coffee “fair trade” certified? 
    A: Gayo’s Best represents equitable coffee buying and our vision to promote economic justice, which goes beyond fair trade. Please reference our blog post on this issue via our Indonesian company website – for more information
    Q: Is Gayo’s Best coffee organic?
    A: We don’t possess any organic certification, but based on our knowledge of the Gayo region, the coffee we source is about as organic as possible. Most of the farmers here don’t have to use pesticides due to the high altitude at which the coffee grows. Usually a small amount of industrial grade fertilizer is used to help the new coffee plants grow. Many of the Sumatran Gayo coffee cooperatives that have organic certifications don’t produce anything “more organic” than the farmers of the group we work with. The leader of the farmer group has some fully organic plots of coffee and is striving to mentor others in using organic fertilizer for both better quality coffee and environmental sustainability. 

    Q: Why does your coffee cost so much?
    A: There have been a lot of good articles recently to explain the cost of a cup of coffee. To make it as simple as possible, the cost of Gayo’s Best Coffee reflects several things:

    1. Specialty Grade – Gayo’s Best Coffee is very good quality. Higher quality means the farmers work a lot harder and we are happy to pay them a higher price for their coffee
    2. Gayo Price Bubble – Compared to other similar coffees, Gayo coffee has increased several dollars per kg in the last several years. This reflects a unique demand for Gayo coffee which is often sought after as an anchor for coffee blends and for its big bold taste in the cup. 
    3. Equitable – We try to pay the farmers a good price for their coffee and reward them for experimenting with new processes and improving quality over time. We also pay for the coffee up front, which means we have a lot of financial capital that gets tied up in the coffee and isn’t released until the coffee is sold on the US side.  
    4. Small Scale – Right now, the farmer group isn’t bigger than 20 families at any given time. This means we can’t source  tons and tons of coffee at one time. Smaller amounts of coffee results in higher per pound price due to fixed shipping costs, export fees, and taxes. 

    Partners & Resources

    Q: What are some good resources for learning more about coffee?
    A: The Coffee Compass  |

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