FROM THE BEGINNING
The Dutch founded the first European-owned coffee estate in Java. In the 18th Century, coffee plants were starting to get attention from the New World, particularly at the Boston Tea Party of 1773. Yet, as coffee became popular in the New World, the Dutch took an alternative route to the East and found rural Aceh.
FAST FORWARD TO 1887
A Dutch explorer SNOUCK HURGRONJE gained permission from Dutch Colonial Administration in Batavia to explore the fieldwork through rural Aceh. From his finding, he discovered GAYO Valley and reported finding a species of coffee plant in almost every village in GAYO. At that time, the local population were not aware of its origins and how it arrived on GAYO land but it was said that it grew in the wild. The villagers were using the plants as fences in their gardens.
Our founder’s forefathers started cultivating coffee in Takengon which was then a scattered area of small settlements. Generations to come have then developed a new farmland in Ratawali Valley, literally by hand. They have painstakingly converted the rainforest terrain into a sustainable and organic cultivation area for coffee.
Ratawali, – meaning “All are family”, which was named by our founder’s grandfather, is one of the largest coffee growing areas of highest grade Arabica coffee in the Gayo Highland. It has become the centre for coffee growers or small holders in the valley.