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Sumatra Bener Meriah

This is an immaculately processed Sumatra, the likes of which is not too common. We really enjoy what many would call "clean tasting coffees", but many Sumatran coffees can be very funky due to processing methods and conditions. However, this one is delightfully sparkling with soft elements classic Sumatran character of chocolate, slight earthiness, and hints of cedar but is balanced by bright berry flavors that keep it exciting. The roast level is just a bit darker into the medium range but short of muting any of the vibrant character this coffee holds.

    The Story

    This pristine, classic Sumatra comes to us from a community of about fifteen hundred farming families located in the regency of Bener Meriah on the Indonesian island. Their coffee is collected by the Sengijo Mill, owned by Mr. Hasballah Yunus, who has provided our sourcing partner Royal Coffee with coffee since the 1980s.

    Bener Meriah is located within the wider region of Aceh, sometimes referred to as Gayo or Gayoland in reference to the local Gayonese ethnic majority. Wet hulling coffee in parchment, locally “giling basah” is common practice here. Rather than letting the coffee remain in its outer parchment layer as it dries after depulping, this shell will be hulled while the coffee is still between 20-40% moisture content. The exposed green will then complete drying, imparting unique flavors commonly associated with Indonesian island coffee broadly, and Sumatran coffee specifically.

    KSU Gayo Mandiri cooperative was founded in 2008 and currently has 1218 members. On average, producers cultivate coffee on 2.5 acres of land using their own micro-mills to depulp and dry coffee. The cooperative hosts regular trainings on best agricultural practices to assist small producers with their organic certification while improving the quality of their coffee. KSU Gayo Mandiri also invest premiums generated from certifications in roads to help producers overcome problems transporting their coffee. The cooperative also recently purchased an ambulance to improve access to emergency healthcare.

    Origin Information

    Grower
    1500 farming families organized around Hasballah Yunus' Sengijo Mill
    Cultivar
    Bourbon, Catimor, TimTim, Typica
    Region
    Bener Meriah Regency, Aceh District, Sumatra, Indonesia
    Harvest
    June - August
    Altitude
    1200 - 1500 masl
    Soil
    Volcanic loam
    Process
    Semi-washed and wet hulled (giling basah), dried on patios and in greenhouses
    Brewing Method Recommendation: This coffee really does well across most filter brew methods; however, finer grinding pourovers and Aeropress bring the sweet, dried cranberry and blackberry flavor to center stage. If you're doing a french press we recommend a trying slightly longer brew time and/or finer grind.
    • Dose · 20g 
    • Water · 300g
    • Water to Coffee Ratio: 15 to 1 creates a full bodied and balanced cup
    • Total Time: 3:30 for Kalita, 4:00 for chemex and about 4:30 french press if you're on a medium coarse grind (28 on Baratza Encore)
    • Notes: A finer grind than normal is worth pursuing as well for those who enjoy a rich, heavily extracted Sumatran coffee (it is a nice soft coffee punch in the face)

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