Indonesian Coffee, Sumatra and Java Trip

Thompson just returned from another trip to visit two important coffee growing regions in Indonesia. High prices, low crop, and too much rain … things are a little grim!

It was a strange little trip to be sure, with daily rain … more than the normal Indo daily dose. There’s a combination of factors contributing to smaller crops and higher price competition.

Global warming is shifting typical weather patterns that coffee needs for both cherry production and to provide better harvesting and processing periods. The Indian Ocean Dipole, an el nino pattern for this part of the world, is in full effect.

On top of this, local consumption has risen and the demand from Jakarta roasters and Medan traders means clashes over price. The fact that Starbucks still buys so much of the Indonesian coffee crop is a backdrop to other demands, and lower supply. The result is a lot of price spikes for coffee cherry.

The good news is this suits the farmer well! The bad news is the harvests keep diminishing, so less coffee to sell (even at a good price) still means less money.

Sumatra Coffee Clips

This is a long-form video (19:30) of short vignettes from the Sumatra leg of this trip. Warning – worms and maggots alert!

Sumatra Coffee Clips – A 19:30 video visiting farmers and sites in Kerinci, West Sumatra

Travelogue Photos:

Here are some of my travel photos, certainly not all germain to coffee issues, but a good representation of the trip. (Click on a picture to open the larger lightbox version)

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