The name rings a bell, doesn’t it? Some people used it for their coffee shops or restaurants’ brand name, but not many realized that it is actually the name of a specialty coffee from Sumatra, Indonesia. Originating from the Mandailing area, near Bukit Barisan Mountains, North Sumatra, this coffee bean was brought to Indonesia for the first time by the Dutch in 1699. As a result of the Forced Cultivation System launched by the Dutch East Indies government at the time, Mandheling coffee plantations were established. Large-scale coffee production then began around 1884 to 1886 near Lake Toba, which is one of the largest volcanic lakes in the world. While most coffee is named after the cultivation region or the country, Sumatra Mandheling Coffee is named after the Mandheling people who traditionally farmed and processed the coffee beans.
The coffee is well-known for its good thickness, medium acidity, floral flavor, and a sweet aftertaste. It has a syrupy body with notes of chocolate and brown sugar. Some have even used the word “earthy” to describe its rich and energizing herbal aroma. While it does not fall within the rare category, Mandheling is still a legendary coffee bean with distinctive features. One of them is its level of acidity. Although it comes from a type of Arabica coffee, its acidity level tends to be lower. This low acidity makes it particularly attractive for people who have a sensitivity to the otherwise healthy organic acids in coffee. Thus, people with a sensitive digestive tract can enjoy this coffee without risk of having a gastric problem after.
In terms of appearance, green Sumatra coffee beans like Mandheling coffee are often asymmetrical in shape due to the wet-hulled or “giling basah” processing the beans go through. This wet hulling process means that the beans retain a higher moisture content than other processing methods. While many other top coffee producing countries dry their coffee beans to around 11% residual moisture, the giling basah method dries the coffee beans to 50% moisture content. It has often been the preferred method for local Indonesian farmers, as the processing time is much faster than other methods. Coffee experts would agree that the coffee bean’s earthy, sharp-tasting, and deep character of herbaceous aromas are a direct result of their wet-hulled processing method.
Now an internationally renowned coffee bean, Mandheling coffee is also admired for its excellent coffee quality. Because it is cultivated in the Bukit Barisan Mountains, with volcanic soil and an altitude of 1500 m above sea level. This excellent quality has made it become one of the most famous Indonesian coffee beans to date. Loved by coffee enthusiasts abroad –particularly the Americans– this premium coffee is also suitable for all. Everyone would enjoy the taste of Mandheling coffee, for it has a rich flavor, yet with a low level of acidity. Besides, the coffee bean is quite easy to find. It is not a rare coffee bean like Kopi Luwak and it is widely available on the market. People can easily purchase this coffee bean from coffee suppliers, such as Coffee Arks. So, whenever you are looking to buy this coffee, or any other Indonesian gourmet coffee, Coffee Arks is the right place to go.