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Sumatran Coffee Review

Cultivated from the lush island of #Indonesia, we know this bean as full-bodied with a soft mouthfeel, spicy flavors of dry herbs and earthy notes.

Plus, this coffee has almost no acidity, making it a great choice for anyone with a sensitive stomach.

You'll almost always find Sumatra in some of the best coffee blends because of the unique flavor profile these earthy, spicy and herbal beans can add to the mix.

Where Do Sumatran Coffee Beans Come From?

If you haven't already guessed, #Sumatran coffee beans come from Indonesia, more specifically the Sunda Islands, and it's not just an island. The Sunda Islands are a small group of islands hidden off the west coast of Indonesia. Sumatra is a remote place and can be difficult to reach. Due to its remote location, nearly the entire coffee growing area is rural and takes place on a small scale.

The largest of the islands is the island of Sumatra (named Sumatera in Indonesian, and the coffee grown in this region has proudly inherited this name. Most of the land on this remote, rugged island is fertile and enriched by ash deposits from one of the world's largest volcanic eruptions.

The Sunda Islands location couldn't be better than this, and they're in what coffee aficionados call the coffee green belt. The perfect mix of tropical weather combined with the warm and humid conditions that make up some of the best coffee growing regions in the world.

What Makes Sumatran Coffee So Special?

There are two main reasons why Sumatran coffee is so special.

Small Family Run Sumatra Farms

The first reason this bean is special is its remote location and rugged terrain, so almost all (if not all) cultivation is done by hand and on a small scale.

In fact, nearly all of the coffee grown and processed in the Sunda Islands is made on small family plots or even backyards. It is also worth noting that most of the cultivation, cultivation, harvesting and transportation of coffee is done by women.

Cherries are carefully selected and sun-dried (usually in the courtyard of the family home) and sorted up to three times to ensure imperfections are removed and not turned into the final product.

Wet Crust Processing Method

The second reason is how the coffee is processed. Almost all Sumatran coffee uses a unique traditional wet husk processing method (or Giling Basah in the local Bahasa language - translated from Indonesian, the term means "wet grind").

Before roasting coffee beans, they must go through a processing method that transforms them from fruit to dried green beans. There are many ways to do this, but the most popular methods (natural processes) are washed, wet or honey.

But don't confuse peeling with age, as neither method is the same, even if the name shows similarities – the final pot properties are different.

How Does Wet Hulling Work?

If we start from the beginning;

Inside each coffee cherry you will find a bean, a layer of parchment and mucilage. The term peeling is the process of removing the parchment layer from the core.

Removal of each layer is done separately and typically requires three or more separate processing steps. Initially, the processing of “wet-crust” coffee was almost identical to the wet method until now.

However, when it comes to drying the beans, other coffee producing countries using the wet method will require the beans to dry until they have at least 11% moisture content remaining - this can take days and the beans are relatively dry at this stage.

Because the parchment layer is fragile, it is easier to process and the kernels can be removed much faster when it is taken to the next stage.

Here the differences emerge.

Due to the variable weather conditions in Sumatra, farmers only have a limited window before it rains. Thus, the wet shelled beans are sun-dried for only three days and the moisture content remains at about 20-24%.

When there's still too much moisture left, the kernels will puff up with water and be soft to the touch, and if you poke the kernels firmly with your finger, they'll be easily crushed—but the parchment layer is almost dry.

Due to the moisture and the delicate soft core, a special peeling machine designed to process semi-dry parchment is used. This machine requires more force as it removes the moist parchment that adheres to the core, making it difficult to remove and requiring much more friction to get the job done.

At this stage, the peeler also helps ferment the coffee beans, creating a complex earthy flavor that Sumatran coffee beans are known for.

The beans are then left in the sun to dry and stored in bags overnight to aid fermentation until they have a moisture content of about 12-13%.

Simply put - the wet crust leaves the coffee moisturizer longer

Remember that much of the coffee processing is done by hand – so coffee lovers around the world enjoy their favorite


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