I learned about Otten coffee when in transit at Medan's domestic terminal. The stores at the terminal sell some varieties of their coffee. I wanted to find out what their other varieties were like so I made a detour to their shop the next time I was in Medan and it was worth it! The staff were very helpful, attentive and so welcoming! I was carrying a lot of luggage and they helped with my bags, and when I was leaving, even tried helping me find a becak!
I had already tried their Sumatra blend before I arrived. But I really like their Aceh Gayo, which was being roasted the day I arrived. If I remember correct, they have a different roast every week. Aceh Gayo has such a robust aroma and chocolatey hints. Yum. Sidikalang was recommended to me when I mentioned that I didn't like acidity, and the recommendation was spot-on. It's got nice balance. I also tried Kopi Lanang but it didn't really do much for me. The experience was nondescript.
I was attended by one of the owners Jhoni. I wanted to find out if their Kopi Luwak was from farmed or wild civets as I read in the news of civets being caught from the wild for kopi luwak production. He admitted that the kopi luwak robusta is from farmed civets, but that the arabica is believed to be from wild civets, as the location of the coffee farms are within civet territory. That said, farms are vast and plenty and it's hard to know exactly for sure that the farmers, though they claim to not be farming them, might actually have an undisclosed farm somewhere. Welfare aside, I think that since the beans are consumed and processed by the animal, a healthy and happy animal would produce a more desirable quality of bean than a confined, sick and potentially diseased animal. It would to make sense. Civets are solitary and arboreal animals, it means they live alone and in trees, and are very prone to acquiring disease when kept alongside other civets and housed on the ground in less than sanitary conditions. I really appreciated Jhoni being so candid and forthcoming as I understand these were not usual questions that customers would ask!
He also shared that because civets live in the hills and robusta grows in the lowlands, civets generally would not naturally consume robusta berries. Hence kopi luwak robusta in Indonesia is almost always from farmed civets.
Jhoni told me that he could ship me some bags of coffee from Medan when I was done with my lot so now I can have their coffee every morning, even when out of the country!
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