Sumatra coffees are special with more earthy flavor notes and a unique processing method. Read more on coffee’s origins in Sumatra in our previous post.  And for those with sensitivity to acidic foods, you’ll be happy to know that coffees from Sumatra are naturally low in acidity!

Meet the Bean: Sumatra AcehAceh Sumatra

Tasting Notes: Caramel, raisin, sweet cedar, cocoa, low acidity

Region: Bener Meriah, Takengon

Varietal: TimTim, Bourbon, Jember (S 795)

Process: Wet-Hulled Special Process

About the Coffee: 

The farm area this lot represents approximately 250 hectares.  Aceh is a special region of Indonesia. The territory is located at the northern end of Sumatra. Its capital is Banda Aceh. It is close to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India and separated from them by the Andaman Sea.

There are 10 indigenous ethnic groups in this region, the largest being the Acehnese people, accounting for approximately 80 to 90% of the region’s population.

This Indonesian is quite a departure from the majority of our beans that we carry. The unique processing, wet-hulled, brings many different flavors. I would term it rustic and earthy and quite tasty as we approach fall and winter.

Among coffee-producing countries, Sumatra is a remarkable sort of outlier: Though the Pacific island came to grow coffee because of European influence, like much of the rest of the “New World,” the coffees produced in this region are special and specific to the terroir, traditions, and culture of Sumatra.

The majority of coffee produced in Indonesia is processed in a manner often called “wet-hulled” or “semi-washed,” and occasionally referred to by the Bahasa term giling basah. Coffee treated in this manner are often depulped on a farm after picking, then overnight-fermented in tanks, sacks, or other containers in order to soften the mucilage layer, which is washed off; because of the sort of “pile fermentation” style of preparation employed, the parchment layer remains wet, and is hulled, or removed, while they are still at a high moisture content.

This process is directly responsible for the classic flavors people love in a Sumatran coffee: earthy, smoky, meaty, savory, and bold. Clean cups are especially valuable, and the bass notes of that Indonesian profile can be nicely complemented by some sparkling acidity.


This coffee was sourced through Cafe Imports, along with the description of the coffee.

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