When Counter Culture began selling coffee from Atu Lintang in 2010, we claimed it was the "first-ever Indonesian microlot" (or at least, Sprudge claims we claimed it). Now, I don’t know if that was true or not and it doesn’t seem worthwhile to argue about it at this point, but anyone who had it will remember that it was really good – surprisingly bright, mouth-watering and clean – and will probably have wondered in the years since what happened to it. Here’s the story: we were able to purchase Atu Lintang because of our long-standing relationship with the IKA cooperative and the managers of its Jagong mill, Irham Yunus and his daughter, Ina.
Atu Lintang grew out of a conversation about attention to detail in selection, processing, and drying and how it could improve the quality of the coffee coming out of the Jagong mill. Understanding that the time and energy required to create coffee this way would add to its cost, Counter Culture committed to an experiment with Irham and Ina and with the help of importer John Cossette at Royal Coffee and exporter Syafrudin, voila! Atu Lintang was born. We loved the coffee, our customers loved the coffee and across the supply chain, we were fired up for more Atu Lintang.
Unfortunately for all of us, the birth of Atu Lintang coincided with weather patterns in Indonesia that resulted in a disruption in coffee supply, a price spike in Sumatra and a brief bout of financial instability at the IKA cooperative. The co-op survived, thankfully, but Irham wanted to be conservative and wouldn’t commit to any more Atu Lintang, no matter how often or enthusiastically, we asked for it in the years to follow.
Toward the end of 2012, as we were anticipating the end of buying coffee from Jagong, we heard from Syafrudin that we would probably be able to get Atu Lintang in February, March, or May of 2013. We feel fortunate to have revived this project and excited to feature a coffee from Sumatra that reflects our commitment to quality there as everywhere else we work.
Explanation of Name
Atu Lintang means “flat rock” in Bahasa Gayo and is the name of a farm owned by Irham and a farming village to the southwest of Jagong Jeget.