Sumatra Gayo Mandiri Cooperative
Fair Trade, Organic, Decaf
Variety: Bourbon, Catimor and Typica
Region: Bener Meriah Regency, Aceh District, Sumatra, Indonesia
Co-op: Gayo Mandiri Cooperative
Farm: Small Farmers
Altitude: 1200 – 1350 m asl
Process: Wet hulled and dried in the sun,
decaffeinated by Mountain Water Process
Certification: Fair Trade and Organic
Pineapple, kiwi, sweet milk chocolate, and pleasant pine or sage notes on cooling.
This is a traditional home processed and wet hulled coffee from Sumatra, which was decaffeinated by Mountain Water Process and possesses both Fair Trade and Organic certifications.
True to the fashion of Gayo coffees, this is a thick, creamy coffee with some of the herbal characteristics one would expect of Sumatran coffee, but also a touch of bright malic and citric acidity to balance out the heaviness.
The Bener Meriah Regency of Northern Sumatra’s Aceh Province produces some of Indonesia’s most notable coffees. While Mandheling might be a more common household name, coffees from Aceh / Gayo retain their popularity with distinct attributes of creamy body and heavy sweetness. Bener Meriah in particular has a good many quality-focused groups, with KSU Gayo Mandiri’s 1218-member organization being one of the larger cooperatives in the area. Founded in 2008, they are also equipped to export their own produce after years of experience providing specialty coffee to the international market.
Some of Gayo Mandiri’s crop is sold as ‘Mandheling,’ which denotes a flavor profile more than it does an origin. Mandheling coffees tend to be heavy and herbal, with the ‘classic’ Sumatran flavors of peat moss and molasses presenting themselves clearly. This is in counterpoint to lots labeled as Lintong (with a dry herbal character) or Gayo (heavy and creamy as described above), which are generally named not only for their flavor profile, but also for their origin. Of course there is always an exception to the rule in Indonesia, and some coffees labeled Lintong or Gayo are sourced from further afield, only blended for flavor profile and made export ready in these regions.
Not so in the case of this coffee; it’s all grown and processed right in Bener Meriah. This is generally the case for coffees named for their regency. This coffee is collected from smallholder farmers who work on plots of 2.5 acres or less and process their coffee to the gabah (freshly pulped wet coffee at 40-50% moisture) or labu (partially dried parchment at about 25% moisture). This coffee is brought to Gayo Mandiri’s facility, where it is wet-hulled at around 20-25% moisture, dried to 12% moisture, and made export ready. Their cooperative reinvests the dividends from certified coffees like this one to fund transportation infrastructure projects and has even funded their own ambulance service to provide emergency healthcare to the local community.