Sumatra Coffee: An Indonesian Delight
Sumatra coffee has become widely popular around the world. It’s known for having a full, syrupy body and very low acidity, along with hints of spice and herbs. It also has an earthy aroma. It’s an intense coffee with a distinctive taste that lingers in your mouth long after each sip.
Sumatra coffee comes from a large island—called, you guessed it, Sumatra—located in Indonesia. It has a population of over 38 million people. Additionally, Sumatra is responsible for 75 per cent of Indonesia’s coffee production, along with 70 per cent of Indonesia’s total income. As a result, Indonesia is the world’s fourth largest coffee producer.
Indonesia has an ideal geology for growing coffee, so it’s unsurprising that coffee has become such a boon to the country’s economy. The history of coffee in Indonesia is an interesting and colourful one.
Indonesia’s independence in 1945 played a big part in its coffee history. Coffee used to be controlled by Dutch plantation owners, as Indonesia was still under colonial rule. But after independence was achieved, many of the plantations came under control of the new government. Others were closed down. Nowadays, about 92 per cent of coffee production is controlled by small farmers and cooperatives.
Most Sumatra coffees are dry-processed, but others are semi-washed (compared with Colombian coffee, for example, which is washed thoroughly). The result of dry-processing is a coffee with a heavier body and a sweeter, smoother, more complex taste. Accordingly, Sumatra coffee beans have the reputation of being one of the heaviest, smoothest, and most complex coffees in the world.
Most Sumatran coffee is grown inland from the southern coast, but some is grown farther west.
Lintong and Mandheling are the market names for the coffee grown along the southern coast. Lintong coffee is grown in a rather small region that is just southwest of Lake Toba in the district of Lintongnihuta. The plots of coffee are dispersed over a rolling plateau of ferns and clay, and are grown without shade or chemicals.
Mandheling coffee, on the other hand, is a more inclusive label. Mandheling refers to Lintong coffee as well as coffees grown under similar conditions. These other coffees are grown in the regency of Diari, which is just north of Lake Toba.
The western-grown coffee is usually labelled as Gayo Mountain coffee, and has a reputation for being sweet and clean. It is higher-toned and lighter in body than Mandheling and Lintong.
We offer a variety of Sumatra Coffee Blends from Wolfgang Puck and Reunion Island.