December Coffee Of The Month is the delightful White Ascher from Sumatra.
In your cup you can expect a lot of traditional Indonesian flavours. Earth, spice and a very natural coffee taste.
Why is this?
Coffee produced in the region of Sumatra is typically processed using a method called ‘wet-hulling’ and what that does is leave moisture in the bean. This is very different from other popular, coffee producing countries who use other methods to dry their coffee beans.
This months coffee comes from Sumatra Gayo Mountain, Aceh. Less famous than Lintong and Mandheling are arabicas from Aceh, the province at the northernmost tip of Sumatra. Aceh coffees are grown in the lovely mountain basin surrounding Lake Tawar and the town of Takengon. All are grown in shade and almost all without chemicals.
So We-Hulling adds more moisture to the bean, how does that effect the taste? It means more moisture in the bean before it gets roasted and that leaves a wonderful earthy taste and gives the coffee plenty of body as it generally means the coffee will be roasted to a slightly higher temperature. This traditional method plays against the current run of ‘third wave’ coffee drinkers and roasters who are looking for that lighter roast, more acidic base in their coffee.
The farmers remove the skins from their little crops of coffee cherries immediately after picking using rickety pulping machines ingeniously constructed from scrap metal, wood and bicycle parts. The skinned, slimy beans are then allowed to ferment overnight in woven plastic bags. In the morning the fruit pulp or mucilage, loosened by the overnight fermentation, is washed off the beans by hand. The coffee (now in its parchment skin) is given a preliminary drying on sheets in the farmer’s front yard. The parchment skin is then removed by machine at a middleman’s warehouse and the coffee is further dried. Finally, the coffee is trucked down to the port city of Medan, where it is dried a third and last time.
Indonesian coffee can get a bad wrap due to it’s more traditional production and it’s definitely less known and understood than African and Latin American producing countries. Our ‘Old Brown Java’ also hails from that region and is still one of our most popular coffees.
We believe that the key to keeping our coffee options fresh for our customers is to throw in the odd curveball.
When one coffee stands out it’s either going to be loved or hated. What do you think to the Sumatra White Ascher?
If you want to grab a bag of this then you need to join our Coffee Lounge where we send out a brand new coffee each month so you get a new coffee experience each time.