This month’s coffee of the month is our Fair Trade certified Sumatran Mandheling – one of our classic beans, and one with an excellent story behind it. As devotees of Small World Coffee may know, we only purchase specialty grade coffee – the highest grade of coffee available – and our Sumatran is a fine example of the quality and value that are found in specialty coffee. We love it for its flavor as a single origin and the role it plays as part of some of our most popular blends, and we are proud to be involved with coffee brokers & growers who take care of their employees and take pride in their product.
Our Sumatran plays a vital role in many of our popular blends, including our House Blend, by adding richness and body. One of our priorities when it comes to coffee roasting & blending is establishing a good amount of body in the final cup. We do this by roasting toward the darker side – our East Coast Roast can be described as a light ‘French roast’ – but also by choosing the right beans for the job. The Sumatran became an obvious choice, as it had plenty of body and next to no acidity. You’ll find it at work in our Love Blend, Rocket Blend, and, of course, our Indie Blend, paired with Papua New Guinea.
On its own, the Sumatran is among the finest single origin coffees we offer. It is double-picked, meaning that the crop is sorted by hand, twice, to ensure It has all of the earthy, loamy notes that are characteristic of Indonesian coffees, along with some more nuanced flavors, described by some as ‘nutty,’ ‘woodsy’ and ‘chocolatey’ (especially at the finish.)
Our Sumatran Mandheling comes to us from Permata Gayo, part of a co-op of coffee growers, and is Fair Trade Certified. Farmers in the co-op are more likely to fertilize their crops with organic matter, due to the cost of importing fertilizer. After earning Fair Trade certifications, the farmers saw an increase in the price they got for their coffee, and were able to set aside a portion of the proceeds to better their working and living situations. One author reported that back in 2009 the group decided that their first expenditure would be weed whackers, to make their farming easier. Next they had planned to buy a microphone to use at their meetings, and dishes for family weddings.
Knowing these stories, and understanding the level of quality and care that go into the production of our green coffee beans is important to us, as part of the specialty coffee world. It’s given us a unique appreciation. Having such fine raw materials have always inspired us to roast and serve the finest cup of coffee! Pick up some freshly roasted Sumatran at either one of our Princeton, NJ cafes, or order it directly from our coffee roaster, here.