Koperasi Buana Mandiri is a cooperative located in the Bener Meriah Regency of Aceh Province. With more than 2,000 members, the co-op has been certified both Fairtrade and Organic since 2015. Fairtrade premiums are returned to producers as both direct cash payments and as farm tools purchased in bulk and distributed to the co-op members. Most members of Koperasi Buana Mandiri live in the remote mountains of Bener Meriah and depend on coffee farming for income.
The Bener Meriah region of the Aceh province is a well-known Arabica coffee growing region. Most people in this region are coffee growers and own an average of half to one hectare. The high elevations of Bener Meriah are well suited for growing vegetables in addition to coffee. The Koperasi Buana Mandiri is located in the small city of Takengon, situated at the western shore of the long, open Lake Takengon, ringed by low mountains and hills.
What is Gilling Basah / Wet Hulled?
Wet-Hulled processing (Gilling Basah in the Malay language) is a variation of washed processing originated in the Indonesian archepelago. It begins with the usual fully washed process: they start by pulping the coffee. This removes theseed from the skin and the majority of the fruit pulp. It is then allowed to briefly ferment. This lets the indigenous yeasts and microorganisms consume the excess fruit still clinging to the beans. Then they are washed before being spread out on patios to dry. About half way through the typical drying process they further mill the coffee in a step called wet-hulling. Wet-hulling simply removes the final parchment layer that surrounds the coffee bean. The result of which accelerates the last phase of the drying. It gives the coffee a slightly earthy quality, an increase in body, and it mutes the acidity slightly.