I have been in love with Indonesia since the mid-1970s. In 1990, I organized a project for Coffee Kids that brought clean water to over 1,500 coffee villagers. Recently, our Reclaiming Sumatra project has supported water projects, reforestation and land reclamation in coffee villages, and an innovative water buffalo eco-management project (the first buffalo was named Uncle Dean!).
Our Sumatran is a classic Gayo Mandheling, grown in the Takengon highlands of North Sumatra. The coffee is grown on small, heavily shaded plots of 2-4 acres above 1,100 meters, by the Ketiara and KKGO Coops.This is a singularly full-bodied coffee, very low in acidity. It is a very hard bean and holds its character deep into the dark roast stage.
The lush forest cover and rich volcanic soils of this region make for very full-bodied coffees. The highest-rated coffees in Indonesia come from northern Sumatra. There, the Gayo Mountain, Lintong, and Mandheling coffees take top prizes as among the best in the world. Super full-bodied, slightly sweet and syrupy, with a touch of earthiness (sometimes a lot of it!) that so distinguishes these coffees. Amazingly low in acid.
*Please note: Sumatran coffee usually contains more defects than other origins. While present, they still meet the criteria of Grade 1 Sumatran coffee (each country's grading system is unique, dizzying, and sometimes doesn't relate directly to defect count). Cracked or split beans are due to the unique wet hulling process they use. We find that, though present, these defects don't present as taints or faults in the cup, and are typical of Fair Trade, Organic offerings from Sumatra.