Notes: Viscous with an earthy, rustic sweetness. Low acidity, deep and smooth
Process: Wet-hulled Arabica
Altitude: 1900-2500 MASL
Varietals: TimTim Bourbon, ateng, jember Iinies
Region: Gayo Mountains: micro-lot
Certification Organic, Fair Trade
Sumatra Mandheling originates from the finest of the traditional Arabica coffees of northern Sumatra. It is grown in a relatively small region just southwest of Lake Toba in the kecamatan or district of Lintongnihuta. Small plots of coffee are scattered over a high, undulating plateau of fern-covered clay. The coffee is grown without shade, but also without chemicals of any kind, and almost entirely by small holders.
Mandheling coffees are often labeled as dry-processed. In fact, the fruit usually is removed from the bean by a variety of hybrid methods. The most prevalent is a backyard version of the wet method. The farmers remove the skins from their little crops of coffee cherries immediately after picking using pulping machines usually constructed from scrap metal and wood and bicycle parts. The skinned, slimy beans are then allowed to ferment overnight in woven plastic bags. In the morning the fruit pulp or mucilage, loosened by the overnight fermentation, is washed off the beans by hand. The coffee (now in its parchment skin) is preliminary dried on sheets in the farmer’s front yard. The parchment skin is then removed by machine at a middleman’s warehouse and the coffee is further dried. Finally, the coffee is trucked down to the port city of Medan, where it is dried a third and final time. The result; a splendid, product with unique, low-toned richness.
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