An Introduction to Coffee from Sumatra



The region of Indonesia known as Sumatra is recognized around the world for its unique and flavorful coffee exports. The farmers who grow the beans in the mountainous areas of the region utilize a unique harvesting and drying process that provides the coffee with its recognizable and distinctive flavors.

Where some coffees would be referred to as flawed, a coffee from here is considered a success if it ends up with a slightly sweet mildew taste. Though this sounds a bit revolting, the fact is that all coffee beans face the threat of developing some mildew, but it is only the blends and roasts in which this is a desirable issue.

The Process

The farmers and growers use what is known as a partial fruit removal and moisture interrupted process that allows the acidity of the beans to be greatly reduced. The beans from here are also usually roasted to a very dark color. All of this combines to give the coffees a level of complexity not found in many other standard brews. Many drinkers of this coffee refer to “bittersweet”, “fruity” and even “dark chocolate” flavors in a properly brewed mug.

With all of the refined approaches to harvesting, drying and roasting the coffee might seem that it would be outrageously expensive, but many large corporations working with “fair trade” growers are able to acquire huge amounts of the coffees from this region and offer it to their customers.

Additionally, many companies create special “blends” that include some of these beans in the mix. While this might seem to be only a watered down version of the drink, it does allow a wider range of coffee enthusiasts to get a good introduction to the unique aromas and flavors of this distinct coffee.

Back to top of An Introduction to Coffee from Sumatra