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Coffee Stories: Sumatra Mandheling

If you ever visit us at a Farmers’ Market, you will likely come across a bag of beans titled Indonesia Sumatra Mandheling.  Our Sumatran coffee is one of our more popular bags due to the rich flavor and perfect growing conditions in Indonesia.  This full body, darker roast coffee has a medium acidity and draws flavors of granny smith apple, merlot, and cedar.  

If you don’t already know, volcanoes formed many of the Indonesian islands in Southeast Asia. The mountainous geography along with the rich soil cultivated from the eruptions make Indonesia the perfect place to grow coffee beans!

Sumatra, being the second largest island off the coast of Indonesia, is only one of many islands that feed the coffee epidemic.  Sulawesi and Java are the other main sources of beans.  The word “Mandheling” refers to an ethnic group in the country rather than the location where the beans are sourced.  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.

We can thank the Dutch for Sumatran coffee. In the 19th century, the Dutch sought to break the Arabic monopoly on coffee and selfishly brought coffee trees to Indonesia.  After only a few years, the Indonesian market dominated coffee worldwide.  After battling a loss of all crops only a century later and again during World War II, Indonesia has now revived the plantations and is a major source of beans.

One of the reasons for Sumatra’s popularity is their distinct production process called Giling Basah. The unique method creates the trademark flavor profile of low acidity and a richness that lingers on the back of the palate while giving the green, unroasted beans a dark color.

At La Terza, we hope that every cup of coffee you drink is accepted as a piece of art, a reflection of its background, location, and our roasting methods. Only the beautiful and useful landscape along with the best soil around makes your cup of Sumatra. Join us and drink your part of Indonesia.

Have you ever had our Sumatra Mandheling roast? What did you think?! 

If you’ve never tried it, you can purchase Sumatra Mandheling here.

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