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Sumatra Aceh Mandheling Preparation Notes

Sumatra Aceh Mandheling Preparation Notes

August 18, 2015

Sumatra coffees are a grand exception in many ways. We would not accept the earthy tones, the low acidity, or other exotic and rustic flavors from other origins, especially in wet-processed coffees. But in Sumatra coffee, flavors seen as defect from other origins can be positive attributes! The unique flavors are due to the influence of the coffee varieties, the climate, and, last but not at all least, the processing method we call Wet-hull (or Giling Basah to locals).

We don't have a whole lot of information on this particular coffee, thought it is from the Aceh (pronounced ah-cha) area in the North, from 1450-1600 meters. It's shows much of what we think of as "Sumatra" character - low acidity, molasses sugars, and complex earth tones. Even as a "Grade 1" preparation there are still several defects, mostly chipped beans and bug holes. This is fairly common for Sumatra, and while it cups fine as-is, this is a good opportunity to test your coffee sorting skills. It's also fun to roast two batches side-by-side - one sorted, one unsorted - and see how the elimination of defects affects the overall cup character.

This coffee shows layered chocolate roast taste coupled with pungent molasses sweetness. The finish has a slight dryness and bittersweet quality, reminiscent of Baker’s Chocolate. Herbal highlights that you might expect from Mandheling-Aceh coffee come up, mixed in with a sort of non-descript "fruitiness" as it cools. Acidity is very low too, which makes for a nice blend component or wild earth-toned single origin espresso.

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