Sumatra Mandheling


From our awesome importer: Mandheling is one of the broadest coffee trading terms for a regional blend in Indonesia, applying to almost any blend of wet-hulled coffees from across the northern half of the island of Sumatra that suit a generic cup profile that is heavy on the palate, earthy in balance, and complex. Regional coffee blend distinctions in the northern provinces of Sumatra were originally based on human ethnicity, rather than geography: Mandheling is a widespread cultural group fround across Sumatra and Malaysia; Batak, to use another example, is a Mandheling sub-ethnicity based around Lake Toba and considered a smaller regional coffee pedigree unto itself, and often marketed as such.

The large majority of coffee blends labeled Mandheling tend to be drawn from across a variety of local parchment collectors across two main coffee producing provinces, both of which are fortified with volcanic soils: Aceh and North Sumatra. Aceh province (pronounced AH-CHEY) is the northernmost province of Sumatra and its highland territory, surrounding Lake Tawar and the central city of Takengon, is considered to be the epicenter of one of the world’s most famous coffee producing areas.

Sumatra’s smallholder coffee is a complicated process. Notably, processing is typically not overseen by a single individual or team; instead, coffee moves task by task through different parties before reaching its final, fully-dried, state. Coffee farms tend to average 0.5 – 2 hectares each. Every coffee village has a collector (or more) who receives fresh-picked cherry, or humid parchment, for processing each day. Once a batch of coffee has been depulped, fermented overnight, washed clean, and then quickly sun-dried to the touch, each collector then delivers the batch to a central miller. It is at the mill where the coffee is mechanically hulled of its parchment, leaving behind just the soft, high-moisture coffee bean (thus earning the term wet-hulled), all of which is spread out on large patios to continue drying.”

Heavy, earthy aroma with nuances of dark chocolate and a hint of cherry. Thick, but smooth body. Notes of dark chocolate, earthiness, toffee, and a touch of black cherry.