In 1887 the Dutch explorer SNOUCK HURGRONJE requested the permission to do exploratory fieldwork through rural Aceh from the then Dutch Colonial Administration in Batavia.  Although the administration find it too dangerous because of the severe resistant from Acehnese rebels towards Dutch Colonial Present in Aceh at that time, eventually Batavia granted him the permission. In his book “HET GAJOLAND EN ZIJNE BEWONERS” (THE GAYO LAND AND ITS INHABITANTS) published in 1903, he reported finding a species of coffee plants in almost every village in Gayo.  The local population did not know the origins of the plant and how it arrived on Gayo Land, but said it grew in the wild. The Gayonese at that time used the plants as fences around their gardens.

It is possible that the plant was brought to Aceh by the Arabs, who were one of the first nations to commercialize coffee. The Arab influence in Aceh dated back to 1297 AD, during the spreading of Islam throughout South East Asia with Aceh’s SAMUDERA PASAI KINGDOM (150 km from Takengon). The first Dutch expedition to Aceh was in 1873 led by General KOHLER who was killed by the Acehnese on the first attempt to take control of the capital Banda Aceh.