Coffee in Sumatra: A Journey in 10 pictures

A seasonal worker on a Fair Trade, Organic plantation in Sumatra
A seasonal worker on a Fair Trade, Organic plantation. Pickers are sought after since all of the picking is done over a few months and increasingly, young people are moving to the cities.
The loot
The loot. A picker can pick 25-50Kg coffee cherries per day.
Coffee cherries bagged and ready to be taken to processing
Coffee cherries bagged and ready to be taken to processing.
Coffee pulp
Part of processing involves pulping the coffee – splitting the cherries from the two seeds (beans) inside.
Green coffee drying on patios
Green coffee drying indoors at an exporter in Medan. It’s spread out on the patios to take out more moisture from the coffee before shipping.
Graded coffee
Green coffee being graded by machine. The machine is a 3 metre long conveyor belt on an angle that shakes violently. The lighter coffee travels to the top and the denser coffee falls to the bottom. At the end of the conveyor it can be separated easily before being manually sorted. We are seeing a handful of higher grade coffee, which had risen to the top of the conveyor.
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Many hands make coffee work. Manual grading of coffee involves picking out defects.
Raking Coffee
A man spreads and turns coffee drying on a patio while workers manually grade coffee under the shade.
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Pulped natural processing. A special method of processing coffee where some of the skin and pulp is left on the beans while drying. The result is a sweeter and more complex flavour in the end product.
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A coffee worker in Medan poses for a photo during a hard days work at an exporter. His job is to haul coffee sacks weighing 70Kg.

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