Lintong Nihota is the town that has become synonymous with the entire southern part of Lake Toba area most of the coffee from the southern shores are sold as such. Lake Toba defines the landscape of the area, the largest volcanic crater lake in the world, and the result of the largest volcanic event on earth in the last 25 million years! It is huge, and the coffees from the north and eastern shores are quite different from the Lintong coffees. This lot is from one coffee collector known tersely as Keisha. In a system where farmers sell to local collector, much rides on the long-standing relationships between the two parties, and the collector is really the key person to determine coffee quality. A good collector buys coffees direct, as Keisha does, rather than in the local village coffee markets where quality is low, the wet processing of the coffees is haphazard, and everything gets mixed together. This coffee is a special preparation: It is prepared by density at local mills, then it is density sorted once again and hand-sorted in Medan once again before export. Putting this up against a standard "Grade 1 Mandheling", the extra attention paid to sorting is apparent in the coffee from Pak Keisha.
Brown rice syrup and date sugar smells come off strong in the dry fragrance, along with earth tones that are foresty and with woody aromatics. The crust is very sweet showing toasted caramel, vanilla extract, along with a smell of fresh cut cedar and tarragon when breaking through the crust. The aromatics are "clean", but not without the herbal qualities that are expected from Lintong coffee. The cup has a great rustic sweetness typical "Lintong" peet notes, with molasses, cinnamon stick, and a note of Darjeeling tea. Light roasts have a flavor of fresh hops and reminds me a bit of IPA. Full City roast level shows dark malt syrup, a date sugar note, and finish with a mix of rustic cacao nib and herbal accents. Mild acidity across the roast spectrum, and reaching 2nd snaps will yield a cup profile built on layers of earth-toned chocolate notes, and subtle dark fruit accents. This Sumatra makes an interesting, and intense espresso shot as well: deep earthy sweetness, viscous body, and bittering cocoa finish.