The farmers of Permata Gayo were ready to produce their highest-quality coffee ever. By November, the bright white coffee flowers had transformed into budding green fruits, and the limbs of their coffee trees were swollen with promise. A new processing facility was ready to receive ripe, red cherries that would turn into export-grade green coffee.
Then the rains came. And they stayed longer than normal. The sun that was needed to ripen coffee cherries and bring sweetness to the seed inside, was scarce this season.
As a result, Permata Gayo is anticipating a 25-30 percent drop in yield from last year’s coffee harvest. But they are the lucky ones, according to Florent Gout, a green coffee buyer with Cooperative Coffees. “From an island perspective, they say that the loss is about 50 percent,” Florent said of the coffee harvest in Sumatra, Indonesia, one of coffee’s most popular origins.