CUPPING: Dark chocolate, maple syrup, great body and mild acidity
REGION: Gayo Mountains, Aceh
VARIETALS: Tipica, Bourbon, Catimor
HARVEST: April – September
ALTITUDE: 4,600 feet
This sample from the Indonesian island of Sumatra just blew me away. It comes from a Gayo Mountain co-op that’s not only producing spectacular beans, but is also doing great work for the community. One of their big successes has been to fund the hiring of adult laborers to process beans so the children of workers can attend school.
But it’s the flavor of these beans and the way they’re processed that just begged me to offer them. The most widely available Sumatra coffee beans are unwashed, and they tend to be heavy, with flavors that are a bit muddy. Pure washed Sumatra beans show overtly fruity notes and lack the heavy body and earthy flavors people who love Sumatra look for. The semi-washed process is ideal for these beans from Gayo. You get all the full-bodied character you want from Sumatra beans, but the flavors are pure and clear. These larger-than-average beans produce the perfect cup of Sumatra, redolent of smoky cedar and currants.