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Sumatra - The Magic of Mad Mountain Mama

If you love our signature blend, Mad Mountain Mama, then you love Sumatra grown coffee.

Look how tiny Nelle is!!


Sumatra is known for it's bold, full-bodied and earthy tasting notes and is often times a dark roast lover's favorite coffee.


When we began ShareWell in 2016, we knew our first blend would incorporate Sumatra for it's familiar characteristics noted above. We wanted a blend that was so full-bodied and sweet that people couldn't stop thinking about it. Thankfully it worked and now we have many, many, many Mad Mountain Mama fans! Sumatra will always be a ShareWell staple.



So what is the story behind Sumatra?

Small farms have been growing coffee in Sumatra for hundreds of years along with the other Indonesian, coffee growing regions such as Java, Sulawesi and Timor. Indonesia is the fifth largest coffee growing country in the world. Much of the coffee farming in Sumatra takes place around the famous Lake Tabor, also known as Lin Tong (BUY A BAG OF OUR SUMATRA LIN TONG HERE).


Many of the farmers only farm a few acres of coffee at a time, therefore when you are drinking a Sumatran coffee you aren't necessarily drinking a coffee from a single farmer, but rather a coffee from a village of farmers (this isn't necessarily unique to Sumatra, many coffee growing regions pull small farms together as one crop).


The supply chain may look something like this (obviously not in every case):

  1. Small village farmers harvest their coffee

  2. They take it to the local market

  3. Coffee is selected and purchased by a collector (there is where quality can be retained, a conscious collector will only purchase the highest quality for their lot)

  4. The collector takes it to a larger regional holding company where further processing takes place

  5. The coffee is then re-bagged and sold for exporting and importing

  6. The coffee is then purchased by roasters like us, roasted and re-bagged for retail

  7. The coffee is then purchased by you and brewed into your mug

*Notice your distance from the small village farmers.


What is with the unique Sumatra tasting qualities?

As stated above, Sumatran coffee is known for its familiar tasting qualities, there is a reaso

n behind this. Sumatran coffee is processed (pulping, hulling, fermenting, drying) using a method that many other countries don't use. This method of processing retains a lot of moisture in the bean as it is processed. If you take a handful of green Sumatran coffee and Mexican coffee you will see a noticeable difference in color. The Sumatran coffee will have a darker green and blueish color to it. This moisture content is what gives the Sumatran coffee such deep and earthy notes along with its very heavy body. Along with the unique processing, Sumatran processors offer double and triple picked coffee. This means that the coffee is sorted multiple times to ensure that only the highest quality beans are making the final cut.


Our Sumatra

When we look for a Sumatran coffee, as always we look for transparency along the supply chain from the importer. You can see in my supply chain description above that the importer can be very far down the supply chain. What this means is that the importer should be able to show me loads of information about the journey that particular coffee took prior to being exported and imported by the importing company. There is a certain level of trust, openness and transparency that is foundational to ethical green coffee sourcing.


Our current Sumatra is a triple picked coffee from the village of Saran Pandang. It is a lot from 120 small village farmers, at the mill the operators combine the crops and sort it multiple times to remove the beans with defects.


Next time you take a sip of your Mad Mountain Mama you just may appreciate the journey that the coffee took to reach your mug.


Enjoy!


Zach

your roaster




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Photos courtesy of ericamueller.com

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