About the bean
For a famously mild brew, Sumatran beans are quite the shock to behold unroasted. Their rather mottled, disheveled appearance as a result of Sumatra's distinctive wet-hulled method of processing leads first-time drinkers to wonder if something's wrong. Worry not.
The post-harvest, semi-washed Giling Basah method (as it's called) involves separating the coffee cherries from their skins, followed by a brief spot of drying and then hulling (removing beans from their parchment), and then another round of drying. But it's all very quick. As such, producers are able to get their coffee to market relatively lickety-split (but with a 30-50% moisture level! Most green coffee beans are between 8-12.5%). The payoff is a faster buck for growers obviously, and for us: a uniquely intense, earthy, herby flavour distinguished by a full syrupy body. Easy to digest, Sumatran coffees are considered somewhat mellow but that doesn't mean dull. Some crops are lively, but there is typically a smoothness to the Sumatran journey that is the great appeal of this coffee.
Our current crop of Sumatra Fair Trade Organic is from the Gayo Nusantara Cooperative in the Gayo Highlands of Aceh Province. Co-op members are small coffee farmers (30% of whom are women) dedicated to producing 100% organic coffee.
Mellow but not dull. A classic, chill caffeine fix.
Region: Bener Meriah
Source: GMB Gayo Megah Berseri (Koperasi Pertanian (Koptan))
Altitude: 1400 – 1700 masl
Process: Wet hulled (semi-washed); these beans are hand-picked twice for defects so as to obtain an exportable product with 11 defects maximum.
Certifications: Fair Trade, Organic
Varieties: Tim Tim, Catimor, Ateng
CUPPING NOTES: Orange, tobacco, dark chocolate, mild earthines, full-bodied.
American-City roast profile brewed in a V60 pour over
Sumatrans are often roasted darker because folks like dark roasts, and because Sumatran beans are known for holding onto their complexity at this end of the roast spectrum. For a change, we went lighter and the result? A taste of honey, a mild brightness with a tea-like, lingering finish. A suggestion of licorice in the flavour mix.
Full City+ roast profile brewed in a French Press
We welcomed a classic Sumatran brew at this level and the earthiness we expect and enjoy. Sweet with a light, syrupy body and a smoky flavour. Yep. That's how we like it!
Roast recommendation: Medium light to dark. Go medium for nuance. Go darker for a classic Sumatran. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
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Photography by Lisa Peryman and Richard C. Owens
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