Coffee from Sumatra is renowned. It was one of the first areas where coffee was extensively grown. It’s a bean that packs a powerful punch it typically has body, depth, and an unusually “earthy” flavor. Many people adore it, but other people equally hate it. Continue reading to see why this specific bean is so special.
Mandheling, Ankola, and Lintong are three Sumatran-grown premium gourmet coffees with some of the world’s best flavors. These coffees stand out for their low acidity, big body, more earthy flavors than Java Arabica, and distinct herbal tones.
They especially appeal to those sensitive to coffee’s otherwise beneficial organic acids because of their mild acidity. Sumatran coffees are well-rated and recognized worldwide for offering a rich, pleasant flavor, yet this can overwhelm the uninformed.
Where Is Sumatra Coffee From?
One of the best specialty coffees in the world, Sumatra Mandheling is called after the Mandailing people of north Sumatra. At Padang in West Central Indonesia, it grows at altitudes of up to 5,000 feet and as low as 2,500 feet above sea level. This region of Indonesian coffee influences the unique flavor profile of Weaver’s Sumatran Coffee.
In Indonesia, Sumatra is a province. Around 50 million people live on the sixth-largest island in the globe. It is one of the three major islands that make up the nation, the other two being Borneo and Java. On the Sumatran island, near the world’s largest volcanic lake, Lake Toba, coffee cultivation is said to have started in 1884.
What Is Sumatra Coffee?
Outside of Arabia and Ethiopia, Indonesia was the first country where the coffee bean was widely grown. The Dutch first introduced coffee trees to Indonesia to end the global Arabic monopoly on coffee growing.
In 1696, the Dutch governor of Malabar (India) sent a seedling of Yemeni or Arabica coffee (Coffee arabica) to the governor of Batavia (current-day Jakarta). Flooding in Batavia caused the first coffee seedlings to die.
In 1699, Hendrik Zwaardecroon sent a second batch of coffee seedlings. The coffee trees flourished, and in 1711 the Dutch East India Company abbreviated VOC in Dutch sent the first Sumatran coffee beans shipments from Java to Europe (Vereeningde Oost-Indische Company).
Indonesian coffee beans took over the global coffee market in a short period. Most of Indonesia’s coffee is now cultivated by smallholder farmers on farms with an average size of one hectare. Part of this coffee production is certified globally for the sale of coffee beans, as are many coffee farmer cooperatives and coffee exporters.
The Republic of Indonesia’s second-largest island is Sumatra. Although it is highly uncommon, Sumatra Mandheling coffee is grown at 2,500 to 5,000 feet on the towering volcanic slopes of Mount Leuser near the port of Padang in the Batak district of West Central Sumatra.
Due to the “Gilling Basah” processing procedure, Sumatran coffee beans have a unique and gorgeous deep blue-green color that resembles jade (wet hulling). Its manufacturer uses a natural drying process that yields a product with a very entire body, a concentrated flavor, accented with herbal undertones, and a spicy finish.
Types Of Coffee Grown In Sumatra
In Indonesia, a variety of coffees are produced. This is because coffee has a long history here in contrast to most other locations.
- The first kind to be planted on Java and Sumatra was the Typica, but more than a century ago, leaf rust almost completely wiped out this type of plant. On Sumatra, a few local forms of typical can still be discovered at extremely high altitudes.
- A small amount of robusta history can be found in some of Indonesia’s most commercially successful arabica lines, which helps to increase their disease resistance. Both Catimor and Hibrido de Timor exhibit this.
- A naturally occurring mutation of Liberica and Bourbon that originated in India gave rise to Linie S, another common disease-resistant variety.
- A selection of Ethiopian coffees introduced to Sumatra in the late 1920s remains popular. They go by the names Rambung and Abyssinia.
Quick Fact: Robusta coffee is also produced in large quantities in Indonesia, but it is typically grown at lower elevations and is only used for home consumption or to make instant coffee. Although this coffee is inexpensive, the typical Western coffee eater will only be interested because of how bitter it tastes.
Is Sumatra Coffee A Dark Roast?
No, the roastmaster roasting the beans has complete discretion over this. Light, medium, or dark are all possible. Nonetheless, Sumatra frequently has a darker, richer color. Sumatran coffee is often roasted on the medium to the dark side of the spectrum since doing so enhances its sweetness and body.
However, roasters should evaluate each batch separately, as not all Sumatran beans will respond similarly. Roasters frequently assume the beans need to be roasted black because of this. Although the finished coffee from a dark roast can be lovely, Indonesian coffee should only be roasted to the edge of the second crack.
Nonetheless, lighter roasts might be more appropriate for naturally processed Sumatran coffees, even though increasing the roasting time might assist roasters in creating a well-balanced cup.
How Much Caffeine Is In Sumatra Coffee?
Most Sumatran coffee comes from the arabica plant family. This indicates that the amount of caffeine is around average. Arabica coffee tastes better but contains less caffeine than robusta. It is hence renowned for having a strong, earthy scent, a robust body, and low acidity.
The flavor of Sumatra coffee is deep and nuanced, with overtones of dark chocolate, dried fruit, and spices. Sumatra coffee tastes best when consumed black because adding milk and sugar can mute the flavors. Sumatra is an excellent option for a robust cup of coffee with a distinctive flavor.
The taste is frequently described as having a full-bodied, earthy flavor with a rich, rustic, low acidity. Wet hulling, which includes modifying natural processes and prolonged drying times that yield subdued flavors and fragrances, makes this possible.
This coffee has a low acidity and a base flavor with a hint of spice that appeals to people seeking an alternative to regular coffee. Although being an acquired taste, people will again savor the flavor of Sumatran coffee.
A single-origin Sumatra coffee should be experienced by every coffee drinker at least once. Sumatra Mandheling Coffee, grown in the west-central region close to Padang, is renowned for its heavy, syrupy, and smooth body. The best Sumatran coffees have a modest acidity, enough to lend complexity to the diverse flavors.
We owe everything to the coffee gods because Indonesia is a large grower and has historically been a significant coffee country. If you enjoy third-wave coffee, I highly recommend trying one of the premium washed coffees from Kerinci, Lintong, or Lake Toba. I can assure you that you will be satisfied.