Equator has been purchasing coffee from cooperatives in the Gayo Highlands for more years than we can count. Historically we have sold the coffee under the name Gayo Mountain, which allowed us to work with any cooperative in the region. Since 2015 Equator solidified a purchasing relationship with Ketiara, a cooperative that produces great tasting coffee that transcends the stereotypical earthy character many Sumatra coffees are known for. Ketiara maintains a flavor profile that is clean and balanced, with flavors of aromatic wood, dark fruit, spices and fresh tobacco. In celebration of the cooperative’s ability to provide consistent cup character, we have renamed our Fair Trade and Organic certified Sumatra, Queen Ketiara.
In addition to producing great coffee, one of the reasons we were initially attracted to Ketiara, is the fact that it is led by a charismatic woman named Rahmah. After working in coffee for many years, she helped found the Ketiara cooperative in 2009 with just 38 members and currently serves as the co-op’s chairperson. In the years since it was established, the co-op membership has expanded to nearly 2,000 smallholder farmers, over 50% of them being women. The coffee Equator purchases is exclusively from the women members of the co-op; they refer to this special selection as Queen Ketiara. We pay an additional premium for the "Queen" designation, with proceeds going to programs that benefit women.