Picture this: a lush, volcanic landscape where ancient traditions meet modern equality, resulting in a coffee experience that's nothing short of extraordinary. This coffee is brought to life by the Mandailing people of Sumatra. The coffee producer is a dynamic, women-led Ketiara co-operative that's not just about producing coffee; but about equality and organic production.
What sets this Sumatra coffee apart from the rest? Well, it's not just any old coffee bean; it comes from 100% origin Gayo Highland coffee farms, where the Arabica beans are a hybrid cultivar. This magical combination results in a complex profile that's intense yet perfectly balanced. Combined with the profile of Classical Sumatra Mandheling, it truly makes this coffee special. The Classical Sumatra Mandheling profile has been preserved and passed on for centuries. The main factor to achieve this special profile is the processing method, Giling Basah (wet hulled).
The journey of flavor begins with the harvesting and coffee processing methods that make this brew truly exceptional. Read on to learn about how women-led ketiara farmers process their coffee..
**CHERRY HARVESTING AND DEPULPING**
The cherry harvest, which includes picking and hand sorting, occurs from morning until late afternoon. The cherries are depulped within 18-24 hours to maintain quality. This depulping happens at the farm, the house, or a communal pulping station.
Next comes fermentation, a process that enhances the body and flavor of the beans. The method used depends on the village's geographical conditions. In the primary method, depulped cherries are placed inside tightly tied plastic burlap bags, fermenting for no longer than 24 hours. The secondary method, used when the primary isn't feasible, involves depulped cherries submerged in a cement tank with clean water for no longer than 48 hours. The water inside the tank is kept clean and replaced multiple times throughout the process. After fermentation the beans are washed and cleaned thoroughly, stopping the fermentation process.
**SUN DRYING AND WET HULLING**
Sun drying is done in stages without the use of machines. The initial stage takes place at farmers' households to achieve 30-40% moisture content. The duration of this stage varies depending on sunlight availability, lasting from a few hours to several days. Once the initial stage is completed, the beans are known as "gabah" (parchment). After this, the gabah is transported to a wet-hulling facility. Upon hulling, the second stage of sun drying follows to achieve 12% moisture content. With the final stage complete, the gabah turns into green asalan.
Sorting is a meticulous process. Initially, a density machine is used to remove dense rocks, stones, and debris. A densiometric table is then used to separate the coffee by density. Hand sorting follows to eliminate primary and secondary defects. To meet the quality standards for specialty grade, three rounds of hand sorting are necessary. After hand sorting, there's a second pass through the density machine and a final pass through a destoner machine to remove any remaining debris.
**ANALYSIS AND BLENDING**
Queen Ketiara coffee is produced from farms owned by Ketiara's female farmer members only. Upon arrival, each batch is analyzed by the Ketiara's quality team, with all the information recorded and used for blending. Blending is the key to achieving the expected profile, as it's nearly impossible to create it from a single origin due to local conditions and the variations from farm to farm. This blending process ensures the desired profile is consistently maintained.
Now, when you take that first sip of our Sumatra coffee, know that you're not just savoring a drink; you're experiencing a piece of history, a taste of equality, and a whole lot of flavor.
After Sumatra raw green beans have arrived in Helsinki, it is roasted. The roaster finds out with practice that the coffee is really delicious and versatile. For this particular Sumatra coffee, we have created three different roasting profiles. We have medium, dark, and french roast style. The coffee taste of each roast is really unique. Medium roasted Sumatran has a well rounded body and sweet taste with notes of herbs. This coffee is is great as an espresso or filter brew. Dark roasted Sumatran coffee has a more full body and notes of dark chocolate and licorice. This is great espresso option if you like full bodied smooth coffee with chocolaty notes. It is also great for milk based drinks such as cappuccinos or lattes. I like to prepare this dark roast in french press since it emphasizes its rich full-bodied flavor. The french roast is for people who like really dark roasted coffee. Coffee is full bodied and has notes of tobacco, dark chocolate and licorice.