DESCRIPTION: white grape, vanilla, toasted grain, sweet tobacco, pear
REGION: Aceh Province
PROCESSING METHOD: Wet-hulled, patio dried
ALTITUDE: 1300 - 1600 meters
Sumatran coffee stands in a class of its own, boasting a flavor profile utterly unique to the small Indonesian island. While the climate and coffee varieties contribute some characteristics, the primary source of this profile comes from the island’s trademark wet-hulling method of processing. In this process, the coffee seeds are stripped, or hulled, while still much wetter than in other traditional methods, then the bare seeds are left out to dry the rest of the way. This gives Sumatran coffee its unmistakably wild, earthy character and heavy body. And while it’s true that — done carelessly — this process can make for a funky, musty profile, it can also create a classic, rustic and complex coffee flavor when done well.
This coffee is a great example of a carefully wet-hulled Sumatran. The largely women-run Ketiara co-op grows coffee of the TimTim variety, one of the oldest in Sumatra. These women, many of whom lost their husbands in the 2003 civil war, support their villages by growing coffee alongside a host of other crops. The results of their work speak for themselves, showcasing a coffee that at once hearkens back to a classic profile while also showing the specialty coffee world that Sumatra can hold its own among the great growing regions of the world.