Insight from our Master Coffee Importer
Sumatran coffees capture the wild jungle essence of this tropical Indonesian island. We cup Sumatran after Sumatran to find that earthy, deep, complex, full-bodied coffee that exhibits low-acidity smoothness and a touch of forest floor funk. A great Sumatran is creamy, sweet, with a touch of butterscotch, spice, and mustiness. (Yes, mustiness, not jungle rot. This is where cupping Sumatran after Sumatran pays off Big!)
Sumatran coffee is a beautiful deep blue-green color with the appearance of jade. There is a tendency to over roast Sumatrans (along with other dry processed wild coffees) as they do not show much roast color, and roast unevenly. Sometime the beans will look uneven and funky green. This is not a problem, however, or a sign of bad beans. Quality in the cup is what matters, or should matter, not mere appearance of beans.
Sumatran coffees are hand sorted, and come in single-picked, double- picked, and even triple-picked lots. Since Sumatran's are dry processed and often laid out to dry on the dirt in small villages, sorting the coffee is essential to take out the sticks and stones that the beans inevitably acquire, but triple picking does not necessarily improve the quality of cup. In fact, we sometimes find that over-picked beautiful polished coffees are sometimes bland in the cup.
Quality is in the cup.