The cup has a layers of tropical fruit and developed-sugar sweetness, papaya, pineapple, punch, butterscotch, caramel. It's Mandheling, so earth tones are also prominent and expressed as peat moss, wet cedar chips, and sweet forrest notes. City+ to Full City+. Good for espresso.
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 varieties 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 wet-hulled 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). The name Buah-Buahan signifies a cornucopia of fruit, and that is what we find in this coffee, as well as complex rustic notes and the characteristic low acidity.
This Sumatra Organic-certified lot has an earthiness to the sugary aspects that lie somewhere between grain-like brown rice syrup, and in this case are quite complementary to the fruit characteristics found in the cup. The dry grounds have a hefty scent of ripe berries and tropical fruits, hints of fresh tarragon and burned sugar too. A "wet earth" smell is a bit stronger in lighter roasts, and Full City shows more along the lines of toasted sugars and smokey cacao bar. This coffee really sweetens up with the addition of hot water, with burned caramel to cane sugar sweetness, and a lychee jelly-like smell. It's a very sweet crust, and breaking it releases a pungent waft of papaya along with a note of toasted rye in the steam. The cup has a layers of fruit - aspects of both fresh and dried - and earth tones you might expect from Mandheling coffee. City+ roasts are sweet and bodied, and with pulpy fruit juice flavors, caramel and butterscotch, spiced cider, and wet cedar chips. Darker roasts show elements of red fruit punch, tropical characteristics flourishing, along with a woodsy peat moss attribute. The finish has an oiliness to it, which carries bittersweet cocoa and earth tones long in the aftertaste. This will make an interesting, rustic-tinged single-origin espresso.