Unique, Grade A Indonesian coffee from the slopes of Mount Leuser in northern Sumatra
Roast: Full City (4/7) (Medium)
Tasting Notes: Chocolate, Cedar, Sweet Tobacco, herbal and spicy
Altitude: 1100-1500 MASL
Variety: Catimor and Typica
Body: Full, Creamy
Coffee was introduced to Indonesia by the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries as it had an ideal climate and mineral-rich volcanic soil, fortified with diverse plant life. The area is well known for its robusta production and around 80% of export is still of this variety. However, the quality of arabica coffee grown in this region has become more apparent in recent years and Indonesia is now well known for producing some of the world's top-quality coffee of this varietal; including the famous Kopi luwak.
Sumatra is the second-largest island of the Indonesian archipelago, consisting of more than 17,000 islands. Coffee from this region has a very unique flavour profile, often being described as having a delicate acidity and creamy body with tasting notes of red fruit to earthy with a mild spicy after taste. Many of these characteristics are due to the region's exclusive processing method referred to as wet-hulled coffee or giling basah, in the Bahasa language.
Coffee is usually hulled at 10-12% moisture content, however, due to the very moist climate of the island, it is difficult to dry the beans to this extent before processing and even if this is achieved they usually gain moisture prior to export. Similar to the wet process method, farmers will first pick and pulp the coffee (remove the cherry skins). They are left to ferment overnight where the sticky fruit layer can be washed off before being dried for a few hours. They are then sold to a collector middleman usually once a week during harvest season. This is where giling basah differs from wet-processed coffee. The moist coffee is hulled whilst around 35-50% moisture content and then dried without its parchment before being exported soon after.
This particular Sumatran coffee is no different, it is grown on the slopes of Mount Leuser in the north of the island and wet-hulled prior to export. It is named 'Mandheling' after the north Sumatran Mandailing people and is an excellent example of premium Indonesian coffee.