Tomorrow sees a bunch of the Five Senses staff, along with baristas and café owners from our coffee family around Australia, pack their bags and head off on the inaugural origin road-trip to our Tiga Raja mill in Sumatra. Following on the back of similar hosted origin trips to Bali over the past few years, this will be our first visit to the mill that we built in North Sumatra.
Our coffee team are lucky enough to visit multiple origins per year and we know just how mind blowing this intensive knowledge gain can be. While conceptual book learning is a great way to build your understanding of the operation at origin, there’s really nothing like pulling on the boots, trudging up steep inclines between coffee trees and putting your hand under the stream of coffee cherries being spat out of a pulper.
With the Five Senses mission focused on impacting people positively through coffee, meeting the farmers and community members whose livelihoods are directly connected with the work we do in Australia is also an imperative. We’re investing not only to send our coffee specialists, but also employees from our admin and technical departments – we firmly believe that gaining greater understanding of the communities we’re involved with should be an important influence on every aspect of Five Senses.
Joining our staff will be crew from Sweetbrew (TAS), Bunker (QLD) and CREAM (SA). Landing in Medan, Sumatra, the posse will make their way up towards the Simalungun region, nestled on the slopes surrounding Lake Toba. Established in 2014, the Tiga Raja mill there was set up by Five Senses in our search for consistent, quality Sumatran coffee with opportunities to have greater social impact.
The road-tripping group will get an opportunity to be immersed in the supply chain; picking cherries, following them through the processing journey including the unique wet-hulling stage before helping to build a new seedling nursery to provide great varietals for replanting. After the farm and mill explorations have finished, the team will conclude their trip with a latte art throwdown at sweet specialty café ‘The Thirty-Six’ in Medan.
We’re pretty excited to take more of our team and wider coffee community over to Tiga Raja to get their hand dirty at origin for the first time – stay tuned for updates from the road!