Sumatra Mandheling Organic

Our Sumatra Mandheling Organic comes from the the Aceh region in Northern Sumatra. Mandheling refers to Sumatra’s larger, multi-region growing area that was historically occupied by local, Northern Sumatra Mandheling tribesmen. This lot is produced by a cooperative of small Mandheling farmers who sell their higher quality arabica directly to the regional processing mill. We purchase direct from the mill operators who work with us, adhering to our specifications on defects and bean size in order to provide the best quality, organic Mandheling cups to our roasters. This lot of Sumatra Mandheling Organic is 100% Typica and certified Grade 1 which is traditionally the highest grade of Sumatra coffee.

When it comes to flavor profile, processing is paramount, and one of the main differences between Sumatra and other origins is just that–—Sumatra (and Sulawesi) growers are the world’s exclusive practitioners of the Semi-Washed / Wet Hulled (or Giling Basah) process. A chief characteristic of the process is the moisture content of the parchment at the point of sale – Washed or Wet Process coffees (which are the most common throughout the world) are pulped, fermented, washed and dried in the parchment until moisture content is reduced to approximately 10-12%, which typically takes about 12-24 hours. Conversely Semi-Washed coffees like this Sumatra Mandheling Organic are pulped and dried for only a handful of hours until moisture is somewhere between 25 and 50%. At this point the parchment layer is still intact along with a good portion of the mucilage, causing the beans to be gummy and sticky if not outright slimy to the touch. With regards to flavor, the extra mucilage profoundly alters the cup profile by providing more sweetness and even body. In effect this makes the semi-washed process a sort of mid way point between washed coffees and naturals. In the cup the Sumatra Mandheling Organic is big bodied with muted notes of dark chocolate, a syrupy mouthfeel, and a pleasant lingering finish. Also look for a nice earthy and syrupy aroma at lighter roasts.

In yet another departure from convention, the drying of semi-washed parchment occurs on natural clay or dirt patios where the beans freely absorb the characteristics and minerality of the soil, which in turn contributes greatly to the classic, earthy profile of the semi-washed. Moreover semi-washed beans appear to have a bluish hue and frequently curly shape when compared to other types of green, due to their unique processing and elevated moisture content. Sumatra and Sulawesi farmers traditionally sell their lots to local collectors who handle storage and shipment to the dry mill where the coffee is ultimately stripped of hull and parchment before being sorted and exported. In this way the farmers are able to receive payment for their crop much more quickly than if they were to use the more typical and time intensive washed/wet process.

Sumatra is the second largest island in the Republic of Indonesia and historically a major player in the world coffee trade. It was here along with Java, Sulawesi and Timor where Dutch colonial traders first introduced African arabica coffee trees in the 18th century. Since that time, those original varietals have been cross-bred and hybridized to create several, now indigenous Indonesian species like Ateng, Bergendal, Djember and TimTim.

Cupping Notes: At a lighter roast, nice, earthy aroma and a syrupy aroma, big body, muted notes of dark chocolate, syrupy mouthfeel, a pleasant lingering finish and very low acidity.
Producer: Cooperative of Small Farms Holders In The Aceh Region
Region: Aceh
Variety: Typica
Processing: Semi Washed (Wet-Hulled)
Altitude: 2,500 to 5,000 ft (1100-1200m)
Coffee Grading: 1, Double Pick
Harvest: September - June