If you’re a true coffee lover, then the unique flavor and aroma of Sumatran coffee are sure to tantalize your senses. Grown exclusively in Indonesia’s unspoiled highlands, Sumatran coffee isn’t like any other specialty coffee you’ve tried before. Many people rank it as some of the very best in the world because it produces a cup that is both rich and complex.
In this article, we’ll explore what makes Sumatran coffee so unique and provide tips for making your perfect cup at home!
What Is The Sumatran Coffee?
Sumatran coffee refers to any coffee that is grown and produced on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It is a popular and well-respected variety of coffee that has gained a loyal following among coffee connoisseurs around the world.
Sumatran is the largest island in Indonesia and is situated in the western part of the country. It has a tropical climate, perfect for growing coffee. Coffee production on the island dates back to the early 17th century when Dutch colonizers introduced coffee plants from Yemen.
Origin of the Beans
The coffee beans used in Sumatran coffee come from the Coffea arabica species, which is known for producing high-quality and flavorful coffee. The beans are grown in small farmer cooperatives, ensuring that each bean is carefully tended to and harvested by hand.
Sumatran coffee is typically wet-hulled during processing, a unique method that results in a distinct flavor profile. The beans are hand-picked and then left to ferment overnight before being washed and sun-dried. They are then hulled or stripped of their outer layer while still slightly wet, giving the coffee a full-bodied and earthy taste.
Shape and Size
Sumatran coffee beans are distinctive in appearance, usually being elongated, slim, and flat. They are typically smaller than other coffee beans but pack a punch when it comes to flavor. Sumatran coffee is known for its full body, low acidity, and rich, earthy taste with hints of chocolate and spice.
The color of the beans can range from light brown to dark brown, depending on the roast level. In general, lighter roasts highlight the fruity and floral notes of Sumatran coffee, while darker roasts bring out its bold and smoky flavors.
Sumatran coffee beans are known for their unique taste profile, which is characterized by a full body, low acidity, and intense flavor. The coffee has a distinct earthy and herbal aroma, with a lingering sweetness and hints of chocolate and spices. This distinctive flavor comes from the wet-hulled processing method used by most local farmers.
Acidity and Caffeine Content
Sumatran coffee has a low acidity level compared to other types of coffee, making it easier on the stomach and less likely to cause heartburn. The lower acidity also allows for more flavor nuances to come through in each cup.
As for caffeine content, Sumatran coffee typically falls somewhere in the medium range, with about 100-150 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce cup. This makes it a perfect choice for those who want a midday pick-me-up without the jitters or a sleepless night.
Sumatra’s high altitude and tropical climate provide the perfect conditions for growing coffee. The island is also home to rich, volcanic soil, which adds to the unique flavor profile of Sumatran coffee.
The majority of Sumatran coffee is grown by smallholder farmers in remote villages, ensuring that each bean is hand-picked and processed with care. This contributes to the exceptional quality and taste of the coffee.
Regions That Produce Sumatran Coffee
Sumatra is a vast island with different regions that produce coffee. The most popular regions for Sumatran coffee production are Aceh, Lake Toba, Mandailing, Lintong, and Gayo. Each region has its own distinct characteristics and flavor profiles.
- Aceh: Located in the northern part of Sumatra, Aceh produces coffee with a rich body and low acidity. It is known for its spicy and herbal notes.
- Lake Toba: This region produces coffee with a slightly sweeter taste and a hint of fruitiness. It has a medium body and low acidity.
- Mandailing: Coffee from this region is known for its full body and deep chocolatey flavor, with hints of spice.
- Lintong: Lintong coffee has a unique tangy taste and floral aroma, with notes of cedar and spice.
- Gayo: Grown in the highlands of Central Aceh, this region produces coffee with a rich and syrupy body, accompanied by a fruity sweetness and hints of dark chocolate.
Where To Buy Sumatran Coffee
Sumatran coffee can be found in most specialty coffee shops and online retailers. However, for the most authentic experience, we recommend purchasing directly from local farmers or cooperatives. This also helps support small-scale farmers and their communities.
Requirement of Blending and Brewing
Sumatran coffee, with its versatility, offers a plethora of blending possibilities. Its distinctive flavor harmonizes beautifully with other coffee varieties, such as Colombian or Central American beans, resulting in a captivating and complex taste experience.
When it comes to brewing, Sumatran coffee truly shines. The rich flavors and exquisite nuances of this coffee are best extracted using a French press or pour-over method, allowing the full range of its flavors to unfold in every sip. For those seeking an even bolder and more intense cup, Sumatran coffee can also be expertly brewed using an espresso machine, delivering a refreshing and unforgettable coffee experience.
Is Sumatran Coffee For You?
If you’re a coffee lover who enjoys full-bodied, complex, and unique flavors, then Sumatran coffee is definitely worth trying. Its distinctive taste profile and versatility in blending and brewing make it a must-have for any coffee enthusiast’s collection.
Apart from its delicious taste, Sumatran coffee also offers some health benefits. Its low acidity level makes it easier on the stomach and less likely to cause digestive issues. Additionally, studies have shown that moderate consumption of coffee can provide numerous health benefits, such as boosting energy levels, improving cognitive function and reducing the risk of certain diseases. So not only does it taste great, but Sumatran coffee can also be good for you!
Sumatran coffee is known for its low acidity, but it does have a slight bitterness to it. This bitterness is what gives the coffee its distinctive earthy and herbal notes, and it can be balanced out by adding milk or cream to your cup.
The price of Sumatran coffee can vary depending on the region and the quality of the beans. However, it is generally considered a more affordable option compared to other specialty coffees. It is also important to note that purchasing directly from local farmers may result in higher prices due to fair trade practices.
A package of Sumatran coffee can range from $10-$20 USD, making it a budget-friendly choice for those looking to experience the unique taste of this Indonesian gem. So why not give it a try and see if it becomes your new favorite cup of coffee?
Which Coffee Level Can You Roast Sumatran Coffee?
Sumatran coffee can be roasted to a variety of levels, depending on personal preference. However, the most popular roasting level for this type of coffee is medium-dark or dark roast. These roasts bring out the bold and smoky flavors of Sumatran coffee, while still maintaining its unique characteristics.
You can find Sumatran coffee in both whole bean and ground form, giving you the option to roast it yourself or purchase already roasted beans. Whichever level you choose, be sure to experiment and find the perfect roast for your taste buds. For instance, Starbucks’s popular “Sumatra” blend is roasted to a medium-dark level, showcasing the full complexity and depth of Sumatran coffee.
Sumatran coffee is a unique and flavorful option for any coffee lover. Its rich history, distinct regions of production, and versatile blending and brewing capabilities make it a must-try for those seeking new and exciting coffee experiences. So why not add Sumatran coffee to your list of must-have coffees and explore its exceptional tastes? Your taste buds will thank you! So go ahead, give Sumatran coffee a try, and experience the wonders of this Indonesian gem. Happy brewing! Cheers!
Does Sumantran Have Robusta?
Yes, Sumatran coffee does have some varieties that are made from the robusta bean. However, the majority of Sumatran coffee is made from arabica beans.
Is Sumatran Coffee Dark Roast?
Sumatran coffee is known for its dark and rich flavor profile, but it can be found in both medium and dark roast options. It ultimately depends on personal preference.
Does Sumatran Coffee Have a High Caffeine Content?
No, Sumatran coffee typically has a medium caffeine content compared to other types of coffee. This is due to its low acidity and dark roast, which can decrease the caffeine levels during the roasting process. However, caffeine content can also vary based on the brewing method and personal tolerance.
How Should You Store Sumatran Coffee?
To ensure the freshest and most flavorful cup of coffee, it is best to store Sumatran coffee in an airtight container away from moisture, heat, and direct sunlight. If purchasing whole-bean coffee, grind only what you need for each use to preserve its freshness. For ground coffee, it is best to consume it within two weeks of opening.
Ursa Hunter is an enthusiastic coffee lover. She started as a barista, and her dedication and passion for the craft quickly took her career to new heights, and now she is embraced by the local coffee community as one of its leading figures.