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Our Grade 1 is from the region of Lake Takengon in Aceh District. Deep brooding, bass-note profile, undertone of mildly earthy dark chocolate, mango, baked peaches, moderate brightness, thick body. Full City+ to Vienna.
Full City+. This years Sumatra crop can be roasted on either side of 2nd crack. It works great for darker roasts and blends too. Sumatra appears lighter to the eye than the actual degree of roast, when compared to other coffees visually. People tend to prefer more roast on this coffee.
Sumatran coffees can be the most earthy, low-toned, and rustic of the Indonesian coffee-growing world. Low-acid, deep, complex; it is entirely sensed in the anterior regions of the palate. Our Grade 1 Sumatran Mandheling coffee from the region of Lake Takengon (Mandheling is not really a region ...it is a Sumatran ethnic group) has a heavy body (dry-processing aids this) and a complex earthy flavor. It has a pleasing, tangy bittersweet and aggressive musty twist in the flavor which makes it so popular among fans of the darker roast. Sumatras are earthy to varying degrees. It's Sumatra, it's great, and when it is a really good lot (and not past crop!) it always is: what more can be said. This coffee is basically dry processed, so I would not cull out odd-looking beans before roasting ...you will be surprised how well things work out in the end. You can't buy Sumatras based on the appearance of the green coffee: certain odd looking beans contribute to the pleasantly aggressive cup profile, and certain over-prepared lots can be flat and without proper Sumatra character. You might want to pick out light under-roasted beans after roasting, but I choose not to do that either. Finding good lots of Mandheling is difficult, especially now that the demand is high. Still, it is ubiquitous. Anyone can stock a Sumatra -just call any broker and buy a bag. But getting a really good lot takes a lot of cupping and a good sense of timing. The best Sumatras usually aren't the first arrivals of the new season, nor the last, but exactly where the crop quality will peak is hard to say. Actually the crop starts arriving in November or so but earliest lots were not good- and in fact it appears now that the exporters are blending old crop and new crop lots in the early shipments -an unsavory practice. We wait for the "peak of the crop" to arrive for the best cup quality, and this arrival was exactly that (a bit later than peak, actually). This coffee graded very well, had a low defect count (which can be very high with Sumatra coffees), and a classic cup profile.
This is a deep, brooding, bass-note coffee, with and undertone of mildly earthy dark chocolate. The dry fragrance has a chocolate custard sweetness, and just a trace of foresty earth and floral herbs. The wet aroma has a bit of peppery pungency, a butterscotch and molasses sweetness, and Ricola-like dark herbal notes. The cup has rich and layered chocolate roast taste, moderate brightness, thick body. This lot is very nice because it has moderate fruited sweetness too, mango and baked peaches. The finish has a slight dryness and bittersweet quality, reminiscent of Bakers Chocolate. There's a clove spice note that emerges as the cup cools; very nice! I am recommending darker roasts here which highlight body and chocolate; Full City+ a few snaps into 2nd crack was my favorite. Fruited notes are best at City+, and are obscured when going darker, so a lighter roast is also an option for a different flavor profile.