The cup is impressive for the balance of dry-fruited sweet notes and (especially at FC+ roast) potent dark spicy notes; cinnamon, allspice, clove, mulling spices. The acidity is low, as expected, and the body very dense and thick. It's intense, heavy on the palate. City+ to Full City+ to Vienna.
City+ to Full City+ to Vienna. This roasts evenly (for a Sumatra) and takes a wide range of roasts. The light roasts are sweet, but I like the bittersweet FC-FC+ roast. Cracks will occur at relatively light bean surface color.
This lot is from one Fair Trade and Organic certified cooperative in the Gayo area around Lake Tawar, called Tunas Indah coop. It is part of KSU Arinagata (a coop of coops, essentially) in the town of Takengon, where I have spent quite a few days cupping, riding motorbikes and marveling at the amazing local marketplace. We like Aceh coffees because they have the classic balance of earthiness, pungency, body and rustic sweetness that signifies "Mandheling" type coffee. If it's a bit confusing, you have reason to think so. Mandheling (the Dutch spelling of Mandailing) is a region and a people from West Sumatra, but they grow little to no arabica coffee! Yet their name was borrowed to signify a specific flavor type, at a time when most coffee from Indonesia was exported as "Java" coffee. Coffees grown in the state of North Sumatra, centered around Lake Toba, are often called Lintong coffees, and have a more herbal character. These Gayo coffees have a flavor less distinct than Lintongs, but epitomize the cup character people might expect from the name "Mandheling". This is a wet-hulled coffee, meaning the farms each pulp the fresh-picked coffee cherries and semi-dry in small batches on the farm. Then they are delivered to the coop mill for further drying, wet-hulling, and final drying.
At lighter roast levels, the dry fragrance from this cup has a rustic caramelly sweetness, laced with malt syrup. Darker roasts have a pungent bittersweet quality, molasses and chocolate notes. The wet aromatics add a more rustic element, a foresty scent, with mossy wet earth. The cup is impressive for the balance of dry-fruited sweet notes and (especially at FC+ roast) potent dark spicy notes; cinnamon, allspice, clove, mulling spices. The acidity is low, as expected, and the body very dense and thick. There's no mustiness that I find so often in bad Sumatra lots, but foresty dark-earth notes, wet humus-like flavors, linger in the aftertaste of the darker roast levels. It's intense, heavy on the palate.