Our Grade 1 is from the region of Lake Takengon in Aceh District. Deep brooding, bass-note profile, undertone of mildly earthy dark chocolate, mango/peach hint, moderate brightness, 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 like this is due to the influence of the varietal grown there, the climate, how the coffee is processed and dried. Traditional Sumatras are from small-holder farms, where they process the coffee by pulping off the skin in a hand-crank machine, then ferment the coffee in buckets of water or small concrete tanks to break down the fruity mucilage layer. This is not so different from wet-processing, but the time they leave it to ferment may or may not be enough to remove all the fruit, and they don't wait for the coffee to dry ... basically it is traded while the coffee has high humidity. When sold to the mill, it might be dried a little more, but basically it is hulled out of the parchment skin while it is still wet; hence the term wet-hulled (called Giling Basah). The fact that the green coffee is then laid out to dry on patios is quite different than wet-processing, where the coffee is dried in the parchment. And it's also where a lot of Sumatra coffee is ruined, since it can absorb taints from the environment. It takes some work to find a good Mandheling type coffee, one that doesn't "cross the line" from pleasant earty tones into the realm of dirty flavors (or worse of all, musty or moldy notes). Our Grade 1 Sumatran Mandheling coffee from the region of Lake Takengon. (Mandheling is used as a trade name for these coffees but is not a region ...it is a Sumatra ethnic group.) You can't buy Sumatras based entirely on the appearance of the green coffee: certain odd looking beans can contribute to the pleasantly aggressive cup profile, and certain over-prepared lots can be flat and without proper Sumatra character. You might want to pick out the lightest under-roasted beans after roasting, but don't over-cull the coffee or you can remove some of the positive qualities from the cup, and it will end up tasting flat and boring.
This is a deep, brooding, bass-note coffee, with and undertone of mildly earthy dark chocolate. The dry fragrance has a chocolate bittersweet taste, and just a trace of foresty earth and floral herbs. The wet aroma has a bit of peppery pungency, molasses, and Ricola-like dark herbal notes. The cup has layered chocolate roast taste, moderate brightness, thick body. This lot is very nice because it has a hint of fruit too, mango/peach. The finish has a slight dryness and bittersweet quality, reminiscent of Bakers Chocolate. There's a clove spice note that emerges as the cup cools. I am recommending darker roasts here which highlight body and chocolate; 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.