Sumatra coffee is one of the most famous coffee types from Indonesia, especially among those who prefer strong and bitter flavor. Generally, Sumatra coffee flavor tends to be bitter and earthy instead of light and sweet. The combination between the soil, specific coffee processing method and geography has contributed to unique Sumatra coffee flavor. Here are eight different coffee types from Sumatra, with their own unique flavor profiles.
Types of Sumatra Coffee Flavor
Gayo coffee is one of the best coffee types from Sumatra and has earned Fair Trade certification in year 2010. The Sumatra coffee flavor is quite strong, with medium body, medium acidity, and lingering aftertaste with a hint of soil, herbs, or spices. It also has great fragrance.
Sidikalang coffee is planted in Dairi Regency in North Sumatra, on soil fertile near Bukit Barisan (Barisan Hill) area. The Sumatra coffee flavor has relatively low acidity compared to Gayo coffee, but it tastes stronger and more bitter. It also has full, heavy body and a hint of herbs, so if you prefer stronger brew, this coffee is a great choice.
Lintong coffee has been famous among the Europeans since the late 19th century, especially since it has strong and bitter flavor. Just like Sidikalang coffee, Lintong coffee also has notes of herbs and low acidity. However, Lintong coffee still has little hint of chocolate-y flavor, which contributes to slight sweetness that cuts through the bitterness.
Tanah Karo Coffee
Sumatra coffee flavor from Karo highland in North Sumatra has unique hints of orange of citrus, because the soil around the coffee plantation is also used to plant oranges. Otherwise, Tanah Karo coffee tends to have medium acidity and body, with slightly less bitter flavor than Sidikalang coffee. It also has lingering aftertaste.
Minang Solok Coffee
Minang Solok coffee comes from West Sumatra province, in the highland near Mount Talang. The Sumatra coffee flavor from this area is not as bitter or strong as the other coffee types, but there are floral and fruity hints with higher level of sweetness. The tropical taste of this coffee makes people compare it with African coffee.
Unlike the other Sumatra coffee types, Kerinci coffee beans are usually from Robusta varieties, although there are also quite significant amounts of Arabica and Liberica beans produced by the farmers. Kerinci coffee has light acidity and medium body, with hints of cinnamon, herbs and spices, but with shorter aftertaste compared to other Sumatra coffee types.
Bengkulu coffee comes from plantation around Mount Kaba in the southern part of Sumatra Island, which has really fertile soil. The Sumatra coffee flavor from this area tends to be light and sweet, with hints of tropical fruits and light body, especially if the beans are processed with “giling basah” (semi-washed) method. If the farmers process the coffee beans with full-washed method, the coffee will taste heavier with hints of spices or dark chocolate.
Lampung coffee has unique flavor because the farmers mostly process the beans using very traditional way. The Sumatra coffee flavor from this area has full, heavy body and high acidity, with chocolate-y, woody or nutty hints.
Sumatra coffee flavor profile tends to be heavier and bitterer if the coffee comes from the north, and becomes lighter further down south. Make sure you know which coffee you get if you want to enjoy unique Sumatra coffee flavor of your preference.