Heavy bodied low acid level with a nutty flavor. Grade 1 Sumatra.
Many of the islands of Indonesia were formed by volcanoes. Therefore, they are mountainous and have rich soil that is ideal for growing coffee. It is no wonder that some of the world’s most famous coffees are grown on the islands of the Malay Archipelago of Indonesia: Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Java. Approximately 15% of all the coffee grown in Indonesia is Arabica. The other 85% is the Robusta species. Sumatra is the second largest island of the Republic of Indonesia. Sumatra Mandheling coffee is grown on the lofty volcanic slopes of Mount Leuser near the port of Padang in the Balak region of west-central Sumatra, at altitudes of 2,500 to 5,000 feet.
The natural drying method used in its production results in a very full body with a concentrated flavor, garnished with herbal nuances and a spicy finish. The coffee has a low acidity and a richness that lingers on the back corners on your tongue. Notes of chocolate are evident in the finish. Coffee trees were originally brought to Indonesia in the early 19th century by the Dutch who sought to break the world-wide Arabic monopoly on the cultivation of coffee. Within a few years, Indonesian coffee dominated the world’s coffee market. Yet by the end of the century disease completely destroyed the crop. Coffee trees were successfully replanted and quickly gained a large share of the world market until the plantations were ravaged again during World War II. “Mandailing”, spelled here correctly, is technically an ethnic group in Indonesia, not a region, as is Batak. Traditionally the name Mandheling can be explained perhaps by a mythical encounter between occupying Japanese soldiers and Mandailing coffee shop owners. When asking what the excellent coffee they were being served was, the owner misunderstood and thought they were asking what HE was. His reply was, of course “Mandailing”. Later a former Japanese soldier contacted a businessperson in Sumatra after the war, and asked if the excellent coffee “Mandheling” was commercially available. The broker was the famed Pwani, and they shipped 15 tons of coffee to Japan that year.
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