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Afi Nafisah's Impression of NSCF Coffee Origin Trip


Afi Nafisah's Impression of NSCF Coffee Origin Trip.

Written by Afi Nafisah


It was such a great eye opener. My passion for coffee begins as a coffee drinker. Living in the big city, my interaction with coffee mostly happened in the shop that sells coffee, from normal restaurant to fancy specialty coffee shop. I have very little understanding how the coffee farmers live and how they grow it and the supply chain that is involved in coffee production from the growers to the the roaster. 
Photo 1. Ms. Afi Nafisah wearing Bataknese Traditional Cloth, sitting on the stone chair of King Siallagan at Samosir Island.  

This trip definitely showed me the overall pictures of these regions, the people, the culture, the economy, and the process. By the end of it we had made a trip around Lake Toba, covered the great coffee regions of North Sumatra, namely Lintong, Simalungun, Dolok Sanggul, Sidikalang, Dairi, Samosir, Saribu Dolok, etc.



I felt really honored to have Mr Sabam Malau agreed to take me on this trip. His knowledge, expertise and passion for coffee and his effort to improve the quality of life of the farmers is impressive. Listening to his explanation about the soil, climate, and technique that affect the flavors of coffee,  while we were being in the actual location is one of the highlight of origin trip. We also had the opportunity to talk to the locals who had years of experience in coffee industry from the farmer, the collectors, the processor and the roaster and getting insight of their perception of taste and aroma of coffee.

Interestingly enough, we couldn’t seem to find any local coffee shop that sells coffee made from Arabica bean. Not only because of the more expensive price , but also because the locals prefer the taste of coffee made of Robusta bean.





My plan in coffee world

After this trip, I do think that the specification of coffee regions in North Sumatra hasn’t been much explored. I commonly found that the word Sumatra Mandheling is used as generic term for coffees that come from North Sumatra. North Sumatra consists of many different region that each has different soil, and different elevation/climate, thus the coffee that it is produced has different character as a result. I would like to see more of this differences being featured in the way coffee is being promoted and appreciated.

I would like to organize a single origin trip in the future. To take coffee lovers from all over the world to experience and understand different terroir and appreciate different taste of coffee from different region that grow in North Sumatra.
Thank you,

Afi Nafisah

Related post please click "NSCF Coffee Origin Trip January 2011".

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