Without question direct trade is fast becoming the future of coffee. Direct trade has many benefits including better prices for the growers, open communication lines and ultimately higher quality coffees.

In early November I was fortunate enough to travel to Takengon, Sumatra with Ben Bicknell (trip organiser) and several other café owners and Barista’s from Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. Our objective was to visit several regions in Sumatra to view the coffee process first hand, cup the coffees from these different regions and choose our next season harvest.

Winding pot hole filled roads, steep mountain ascents & descents on the back of village motor bikes, hand picking cherries and drinking locally grown Robusta with local farmers - armed with a video camera and Digital SLR camera I set out to document the experiences we had. This trip gave me an amazing insight into the coffee process, Sumatran Culture and the important relationship between the people and coffee in everyday Sumatran life.

A special thank you goes out to Reinhart and Danny from Gajah Mountain Coffee – our local contact and exporter who hosted us for our week stay. They showed us the farms / cooperatives and gave us the opportunity for direct trade in these small farming regions. They have been consistently pushing the quality of coffee in Sumatra amongst all kinds of political and infrastructure hurdles. The end result is a win for both Five Senses and the people of Sumatra whom we purchase coffee from.

I hope this video gives you an insight deeper than I could describe in words.


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