On the Northern fringes of Lake Toba, you find Dairi and Pakpak Bharat districts, the home of the Pakpak people. Although the Pakpak’s can be traced back to the better-known Toba Batak tribe, they harness pride in the fact that they have their own culture, housing, clothing, and dialect. Their language is called: Bahassa Pakpak, derived from the Toba Batak language.
The Pakpak tribe honor their gods of nature by performing offering rituals near the border of the forests. They offer food like banana’s and rice (cakes) and believe that their ancestors, taking refuge in these forests, consume it.
Samuel’s group of smallholders live among the tropical forests and own between 0.5 and 1 hectares. Coffee trees are mingled with vegetables, chili plants, orange trees, cabbages, tomatoes, and cedar trees – a concept they copied from the Tagenon farmers. Within the Sidikalang PODA Coffee Group, you find people from the Pakpak, Toba, and Java tribes – either Muslim or Christian, all working together.
Samuel’s mission is three-fold: 1) cultivate the best specialty coffee of the Dairi and Pakpak Bharat districts, 2) get a better price for the smallholders so that they trust the impact of specialty coffee, 3) and make sure that their coffee won’t blend with other batches – for instance in Medan, where buyers pay a low price for his yield and mix it with conventional batches.
The Pakpak coffees are balanced, layered, and well-bodied. Besides the expected licorice root profile, the Pakpak coffees reveal hints of florals and notes of berry, nuts, raspberry, vanilla, raisins, walnut, and tobacco. A sweet profile that highlights the elements of a classic wet-hulled Sumatran.