From the region of Lake Takengon in Aceh District. Deep brooding, bass-note profile, low acidity, tamarind and raisin fruit notes, undertone of dark chocolate, moderate brightness, foresty-earthy hints, thick body. Full City+ to Vienna.
Full City+. This years Sumatra crop can be roasted on either side of 2nd crack. It works great for darker roasts and blends too. Sumatra appears lighter to the eye than the actual degree of roast, when compared to other coffees visually. People tend to prefer more roast on this coffee.
Sumatran coffees can be the most earthy, low-toned, and rustic of the Indonesian coffee-growing world, flavors entirely sensed in the anterior regions of the palate. The flavor of Sumatra coffees result from how the coffee is processed, and to a lesser degree the types of coffee varietals planted. Sumatra coffees were once dry-processed, where the cherry is picked from the tree, laid out to dry, and then hulled to green bean in one step. This never worked well because the climate is so wet during the harvest in Sumatra, and rather unpredictable too. So now most Sumatra coffees are wet-hulled (called Giling Basah). Processing starts on the small-holder farms, where they pick the coffee and pulp off the fruit skin in a hand-crank machine. Then most farmers ferment the coffee in small containers to break down the fruity mucilage layer, others simply leave the bags of cherry intact overnight and pulp in the morning. Then they dry the coffee for a few hours on tarps or concrete, and sell it in the local market to coffee collectors. The collectors might dry the coffee a little more, but it is still exceptionally wet when they hull it (hence the term wet-hulled. This wet-hulling is not done anywhere else in the coffee world. The collector then puts the wet, soft green bean (called Kopi Labu, or pumpkin coffee) out on the tarps or concrete to dry. That's another unique aspect of Sumatra processing; nowhere else is the green bean exposed directly to the elements to dry. But in this wet climate, hulling off the outer parchment layer so soon makes the coffee dry much faster, and allows the collector to get it dried down to 14% moisture and sell the coffee to an exporter much sooner than other processing methods. The dried coffee, called Asalan, is prepared on gravity tables and hand sorted again by the better exporters to meet the standards of Grade 1. It takes some work to find a good Mandheling-type coffee, one that doesn't "cross the line" from pleasant earthy tones into the realm of dirty flavors (or worse of all, musty or moldy notes). Our Sumatra Gayo Mandheling coffee is from the ethnic Gayo region around Lake Takengon. Mandheling is used as a trade name for these coffees but is not a region; It is a different Sumatran ethnic group that historically produced Arabica coffees.
We selected this lot of coffee for it's rustic fruited character, heavy body and low acidity. The dry fragrance has tamarind fruit notes in the lighter roast levels, with more chocolate bittersweet and foresty notes emerging at Full City+ roast level. The wet aroma has rustic sweetness, Ricola-like dark herbal character, molasses, dried plum, and clean earthy notes. The cup has layered chocolate roast taste and thick body. This lot is very nice because it has a hint of fruit that comes through in the cup, raisin and tamarind. The finish has a slight dryness and bittersweet quality, reminiscent of Baker_‹_s Chocolate. There's a clove spice note that emerges as the cup cools. I am recommending darker roasts here, which highlight body and the overall "bass note" character of the cup. Full City+ a few snaps into 2nd crack was my favorite. Fruited notes are best at City+, and are obscured when going darker, so a lighter roast is also an option for a different flavor profile.