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Where Is Sumatra Coffee From

A Complex Flavor Profile

Why is Sumatran coffee so special?

As already mentioned, Sumatran coffee has a higher moisture content, which is why it continues to ferment while in storage and up to the period before roasting.

The fermentation process helps in the development of the coffees dynamic flavors. When sipping Sumatra coffee, its complexity will lead to an exceptional tasting experience.

Rather than being popular for their notes, Sumatra coffee is mainly known for its low acidity and full body.

The flavor and aroma featured are rather funky: wild, spicy, earthy, mushroomy, and mossy.

The flavor and aroma may be pleasant to some people, but not others, because the taste is a completely personal preference.

It is sweeter when dark roasted. The aroma is herby, umami and woodland-y

Generally, Sumatran coffee is complex, rich, and full-bodied. This is because of the dark roast.

The multi-stage wet-hulling using homemade machines and dark roasting helps build its body, enhance its characteristics, and add richness to its flavor.

But when roasted differently, it comes out with a brighter, fresher flavor.

Equator Coffees Sumatra Queen Ketiara Fair Trade Organic Coffee

This medium-light roast Sumatra coffee originates from a cooperative found in the Aceh region called Ketiara.

The producers that cultivate this organic fair-trade coffee are also paid fairly for their efforts. Which, we believe, is essential for longevity and, more generally, just good business.

Flavors can range from tobacco, milk chocolate, and vanilla with hints of citrus, earthy and herbal notes. This fair trade Arabica coffee is processed using the wet-hulling method, which intensifies the savory flavors and earthy aroma.

It is available either as a whole bean or in different grind sizes for ground coffee. It is perfect for brewing with a manual drip or espresso to appreciate the taste. Still, you can have the option to try it as a single service via a reusable K-Cup or a French Press for a fuller-bodied experience.

Equator Coffees Queen Ketiara might be the best Sumatra coffee for you if you want to taste how wet-hulled coffees are when roasted lightly.

How Is Sumatra Coffee Grown

Climate including geography of Indonesia is very suitable for growing coffee. Moreover, the mountainous regions within Sumatra and other islands have created the climate more suitable for the production of coffee, this can be attributed to location near the equator.

Comes from the Sunda islands along the west coast of Indonesia by Mandailing people of Sumatra and is known as one of the most gourmet coffees of the world. The production of this coffee is complicated and interesting produced by a number of holders of small lands by using the processing technique of wet hulling or giling basah. It is grown in West Central Indonesia, in Padang at the elevation from 2,500 to 5,000 feet above the sea level.

Sumatra coffee is also known as syrupy coffee due to the resemblance of the fullness of its body with premium quality coffees. This coffee has covered the wild jungle of this tropical island of Indonesia.

The taste of Sumatra coffee is very delicious, sweet and creamy but complex as it includes the tinge of spice, chocolate, and butterscotch as well as undertones of earthy flavors. The color of the fresh coffee beans remains deep greenish-blue before they are roasted.

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The Regions Of This Longtime Coffee

When I first started in specialty coffee, one of the first coffees I got to taste on a cupping table was Indonesian coffee. I clearly remember the smokey, herbal, and almost spicy coffees that were so complex, and laced with flavors that were quite different from other Central American and African coffees also present on the table.

As my career path and passion took me to Central America, the frequency with which I saw Indonesian coffee decreased. But that changed when I returned this winter to Seoul, one of the several hubs for great Indonesian coffee.

In the past few years, the number of specialty-coffee shops offering Indonesian coffee has visibly increased in Seoul. I heard similar anecdotes from friends in North America. After having cupped one of the most mind-blowing coffees from Indonesia in a cupping session held in Seoul, I had to chat with a friend to learn more about the changing landscape of coffee production in Indonesia. Ivan Hartanto leads the growing company Belift that exports Indonesian coffee to roasters around the world, and lent his insight for this article.

Indonesia as a Coffee-Growing Origin

In 2019-20, Indonesia was the fifth-largest coffee producer in the world, with 6,334,000 sacks of 60kg bags. Producing about 5% of the worlds coffee, Indonesias producing regions, Sumatra, Java, and Sulawesi, are well-known amongst coffee lovers globally.

On Indonesian Flavors

We will continue this article tomorrow.


Thunder Bolt Whole Bean Coffee By Koffee Kult

Sumatra Mandheling

This packed whole beans of Indonesia coffee is mixed with the roasted beans of French roast, giving it a sweet and crispy finish with medium acidity and pleasant aromas.

You can brew a true restaurant quality coffee at your home when prepared in a French press drip coffee maker at any special occasion. These coffee beans are environment-friendly as they do not contain any type of harmful chemicals. Thus, every sip of this coffee will provide you delicious taste of coffee beans instead of anything else.

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Copper Door Coffee Roasters Sumatra Queen Ketiara

  • Medium Roast
  • Organic, Fair Trade

Similar to Out of the Grey and Volcanica, Copper Door aims to debunk the stigma of classic Sumatra flavor profiles by offering a bean that is sweet, fruity, lively, and creamy, while paying tribute to the traditional characteristics that make the Sumatra bean unique.

Copper Doors Sumatra Queen Ketiara bean is sourced from the Ketiara Cooperative, which is known for its fruity tones, lively acidity, and bold intensity.

Featuring a combination of cranberry, walnut, and black pepper flavor notes, Copper Doors Sumatra bean strikes the perfect balance between sweet and spicy. These beans are wet-hulled, certified organic, fair-trade, and produced 100% by women.

As a premium coffee roaster, Copper Doors mission is to reflect tradition and craftsmanship practiced around the world, and their medium roast Sumatra bean does just that.

Is It Arabica Or Robusta

The highest percentage of coffee beans from Sumatra is Arabica beans. Given their long mountain ranges, Sumatra has a diverse geography, making it optimal for Arabica bean growth.

Arabica beans are grown at high altitudes in harsher conditions and for a longer period.

This extended time extracts the sweet undertones of the beans and the essential oils.

Arabica beans have less caffeine content than Robusta beans, thus leaving you with sweet coffee rather than a bitter one.

Sumatra is responsible for 25% of Arabica beans and 75% of Robusta beans. Often, roasteries prefer Sumatra beans to balance other beans for rich and low acidic content.

Sumatra does grow robusta at lower altitudes and is accountable for the caffeine content and natural coffee flavors. Most of the roasteries will offer Sumatra Arabica coffee beans.

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Is Sumatran Coffee For Me

Theres no way anyone can help you with this. Some people love its strong and unusual taste as well as the fact that its completely organic. Some, however, dont like it at all, so no one can tell if youll love it or not.

Its because of the unique earthy taste that youll either love it or hate it. As we said before, theres no middle ground when it comes to Sumatra.

Still, we can recommend you try it out the next time youre at Starbucks or Costco. You might end up discovering your new favorite coffee thanks to its distinctive flavor. We can guarantee the taste will be a discovery whether you end up loving it or not.

Its a high-end coffee thats unlike any other, and it might be your next favorite thing, so why not try it?

The Flavor Profile Of Sumatra Coffee

Sumatra Coffee Tour – Part I

As stated before, the flavor profile is extremely varied for Sumatra coffee because it really depends on where the beans were grown and what happened to them over the course of processing. Some of the flavor notes you might taste include:

  • Earthy
  • Bell peppers
  • Balsamic vinegar

In most coffees, this type of flavor profile would be a sign of low quality, but for Sumatra, its considered a full body and rich flavor. Combined with the low acidity, this is a coffee that people who like a dark drink prefer. Sumatra coffee also tends to be a dark roast because the dark roast compliments this flavor profile, , but theres no reason why it cant be light or medium roast.

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Sumatra Coffee: 5 Facts You Need To Know

Is it the flavor? Or its harvesting technique?

How about where its grown?

Well, in Sumatra, their tasty coffee is a result of several factors. Their complex flavor and low acidity make coffee from this area one of the worlds most sought-after coffee.

In this post, youll learn everything theres to know about Sumatra coffee.

Before delving deep into some of the most amazing facts about Sumatra coffee, lets first understand what this coffee is all about.

We want you to know this post contains affiliate links. If you click on a product and decide to buy it we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Sumatra Mandheling Coffee History

Sumatran coffee from Indonesia has one of the most distinctive origins of all coffees. Beginning in the 18th Century, when the popularity of Sumatran coffee raised significantly, the unique shape and hue of these beans helped European merchants recognize authentic Sumatran coffee. While most coffee is named after the growing region or the country, Mandheling coffee is named after the Mandheling people that traditionally farmed and processed the coffee beans. During World War II, a Japanese military man stationed in Sumatra asked a local Sumatran where his coffee originated. The Sumatran man mistakenly thought he was being asked about his ethnicity and replied, “Mandheling. Later, word spread to Japan of this sensational coffee, and the name stuck as merchants began inquiring about the purchase of Mandheling coffee from Sumatra. Mandheling is now produced in Pandang, a small island part of Indonesia, close to the Sumatra coffee district, where 65% of the coffee is grown. Coffee trees were bought to this island in the early 19th century in an attempt to break the near-monopoly on coffee beans held by other parts of the world.

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Everything You Need To Know About Sumatra Coffee

Is it its intense flavor? Perhaps the way its harvested?

What about the country, does that play a factored from where it is grown?

In Sumatra, their unique tasting coffee is attributed to many different factors. Their low acidity and complex flavor profiles have made coffee from this region special and highly sought after in the coffee world.

Lets dive in and teach you everything you need to know about Sumatra and its coffees.

Where Does Sumatra Coffee Beans Come From

Sumatra Coffee

Sumatra Coffee is grown the Sunda Islands. The Sunda Islands are a group of islands along the coast of Western Indonesia. Sumatra island , is the largest one in the group, the coffee grown in this region picked up its name.

Sumatra, Indonesia

The Sunda Islands are situated in the heart of the so-called coffee green belt. Its tropical weather, together with the hot and humid weather, creates some of the best coffee in the world.

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Coffee Farmers From Takengon

The organic Coffee that we source through fair trade terms, roast and serve is from the Aceh province at the northern tip of Sumatra. The coffee beans are cultivated at elevations of 850 to 1500 metres by various smallholder farmers around the town of Takengon on the shores of Lake Laut Tawar. The landscape is impressive with lush rainforests, dramatic valleys and undulating volcanic terrain. The people in this region are referred to as Gayonese people because of their proximity to Gayo Mountain.

Like the majority of Indonesias coffee production, coffee is grown at small family farms or home garden plots that are very traditional, and mainly farmed by women. Most farms average a hectare or less, with coffee being one of several crops. Very few coffee estates or cooperatives are found on the island.

Adding More Flavor To Your Cup

One of the best parts about drinking coffee is that you get to experiment. Each roast and brew method has a unique flavor profile that you cant find anywhere else. No beans are just coffee, and you can get wildly different tastes out of different beans. You dont have to pick only one, and Sumatra coffee can be the perfect way to add variety to your usual coffee routine. It has an extravagant flavor thats hard to find anywhere else. So even if you decide that it isnt for you, its at least worth a try to add some more variety to your coffee.

Joakim is a coffee connoisseur who loves all types of coffee, no matter the type or region of origin. He loves writing about his coffee experience, sharing with readers the tastes, methods of making, and more.

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Does Sumatra Coffee Have More Caffeine

This depends on the beans you chose- Arabica or Robusta.

Arabica, no matter what the origin, will deliver less caffeine content than robusta beans.

Sumatra Arabica beans are no different they will have less caffeine and distinct dark coffee flavors.

Arabica accounts for 1.2-1.5% of caffeine which is half the percentage of robusta beans. Robusta beans have 2.5-2.7% of caffeine.

Caffeine enhances the real flavors of coffee and thus is bitter most of the time unless the roastery decides to add artificial sweetener. With that said, Robusta will give you a higher energy punch compared to Arabica.

Nonetheless, Arabica tastes far better than Robusta beans because it has low caffeine accounting for less bitterness and a more fruitful, naturally sweet flavor profile.

Robusta has high caffeine content to protect the crops from insects and pesticides. That makes it a competent crop.

Arabica Vs Robusta Beans

Starbucks: Sumatra Coffee is a Miracle

Weve already started to touch on the differences between Arabica and Robusta beans, but its one of the most important parts of the bean buying process. While most of the coffee produced in the world is Arabica, Robusta beans are much more resilient, cheaper, and have more caffeine. This comes at the expense of flavor, which is why most coffee fans opt for Arabica beans for that delicious morning cup.

Sumatra grows both Robusta and Arabica beans, though youll get huge differences in the flavor. All of the taste notes and flavor profiles discussed so far have been about Arabica beans. So while you can find Robusta Sumatra coffee beans, theyll have a much more rubbery, undesirable flavor than their Arabica counterparts. The main advantages, of course, are the cost and caffeine content. They have twice the caffeine and cost half as much, bringing the dollar-to-caffeine ratio to 4 times as high as Arabica.

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Processing Coffee Beans: Sumatran Coffee Is Wet Hulled

Did you ever wonder how a coffee bean is made? The coffee bean has quite a journey from plant to cup. The coffee bean itself actually comes from the coffee tree which bears a coffee fruit, or what is referred to as the coffee cherry. There are a variety of methods used to remove the coffee bean from the coffee cherry. Wet hulling is the most common processing method used in Sumatra. Even though coffees processed this way are sometimes called natural or dry processed, wet hulling is distinct from natural processing methods used in other parts of the world, such as Ethiopia.

Wet hulling involves the following steps:

  • Farmers remove the skin of the coffee cherry immediately after picking using homemade machines.
  • The skinned coffee beans are placed in woven bags and left to ferment overnight
  • The following morning, farmers wash off the mucilage by hand
  • The coffee beans, in their parchment, are partially dried in the farmers yard
  • The coffee bean is shipped to a warehouse, where the parchment is removed, and the coffee beans are dried again
  • The coffee beans are shipped to a port city for exportation, and dried a third time at the port city
  • About Indonesia Sumatra Mandheling Fair Trade Organic Coffee

    Sumatra Mandheling coffee is named after the north Sumatran Mandailing people and is considered one of the worlds top specialty coffees. It grows at elevations up to 5,000 feet and as low as 2,500 feet above sea level near Padang in West Central Indonesia. This Indonesian coffee region plays a role in creating the complex flavor profile of Weavers Sumatran Coffee Organic.

    How does Fair Trade benefit local communities? Our main suppliers of FTO Sumatra, KSU Adil Wiladah Mabrur and Koperasi Gayo Mandiri, have used Fair Trade premiums to:

    • purchase agricultural tools
    • invest in environmental education and training
    • programs focusing on women’s empowerment
    • hire women to do manufacturing work in processing facilities
    • training women in financial management

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    Stumptown Bies Penantan Coffee

    Stumptown sources Sumatran coffee from smallholder famers in the Aceh province, and the coffee is named for the community that produces it. The coffee beans are grown at an elevation of between 4000-5200 feet and they go through a wet hulling processing method. Stumptown get the coffee exclusively from the Ketiara Co-op, which is female-led and founded in 2009, building the empowerment to growers that was started by fair trade coffee. There are several varietals including Catimor, Bourbon, Caturra and Typica, resulting in a full-bodied brew that is medium roasted with sweet, spicy and cedar notes along with the typical chocolate, earthy flavor profile.

    Adding Sumatran Coffee To Your Home


    Camano Island Roasters produces Sumatra coffee in a dark or medium roast. The dark roast is described as rich and complex by coffee aficionados while the medium roast has a distinctly fruity complexity. Sumatra coffee makes a great unique gift for a fellow coffee lover who likes to try new things, or just a gourmet addition to your everyday routine.

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