Varietal: Typica Hybrids & Catimor
Process: Semi Washed
Certification: Direct Trade
Altitude: 1100 - 1200 Meters
Cupping Notes: Brown Sugar, Apricot, Lemon & Lime, Dark Chocolate
Description: Our Sumatra Lintong Triple Pick Tiger is 100% Typica and produced by a cooperative of approximately 120 small farm holders from the village of Saran Padang, located south of Lake Toba within the Simalungun Region. The local farmlands are well suited for the growing of coffee (and tea) due to the wet climate, high altitude and mineral rich, volcanic soil that covers much of the Island. Lake Toba itself is actually an ancient caldera that formed after the catastrophic volcanic eruption of Mt. Toba some 75,000 years ago.
The Sumatra Lintong Triple Pick Tiger is the highest grade of specialty coffee available from Sumatra: certified Grade 1, TP (Triple Picked), meaning it has been rigorously sorted by hand to remove any natural defects and ensure the best quality lots. Traditionally Grade 1 was the best possible grade of Sumatran coffee, however growth within the specialty industry and requests from specialty purveyors for even cleaner cups has resulted in the adoption of “double picked” and “triple picked” certifications to further enhance grading. At the mill, growers combine their yields and mill operators are then able to adhere to strict specifications on defects and bean size to provide the best quality Sumatran cups. Each farm averages 2.7 acres with elevations ranging from 2,500 – 5,000 ft above sea level. The Sumatra Lintong Triple Pick Tiger cup is full of earthy and syrupy aroma, a big body, a substantial mouthfeel and a pleasant lingering finish throughout.
When it comes to flavor profile, processing is paramount, and one of the main differences between Sumatra and other origins is just that–—Sumatra (and Sulawesi) growers are the world’s exclusive practitioners of the Semi-Washed / Wet Hulled (or Giling Basah) process. A chief characteristic of the process is the moisture content of the parchment at the point of sale – Washed or Wet Process coffees (which are the most common throughout the world) are pulped, fermented, washed and dried in the parchment until moisture content is reduced to approximately 10-12%, which typically takes about 12-24 hours. Conversely Semi-Washed coffees like our Sumatra Lintong Triple Pick Tiger are pulped and dried for only a handful of hours until moisture is somewhere between 25 and 50%. At this point the parchment layer is still intact along with a good portion of the mucilage, causing the beans to be gummy and sticky if not outright slimy to the touch. With regards to flavor, the extra mucilage profoundly alters the cup profile by providing more sweetness and even body. In effect this makes the semi-washed process a sort of mid way point between washed coffees and naturals.
In yet another departure from convention, the drying of semi-washed parchment occurs on natural clay or dirt patios where the beans freely absorb the characteristics and minerality of the soil, which in turn contributes greatly to the classic, earthy profile of the semi-washed. Moreover semi-washed beans appear to have a bluish hue and frequently curly shape when compared to other types of green, due to their unique processing and elevated moisture content. Sumatra and Sulawesi farmers traditionally sell their lots to local collectors who handle storage and shipment to the dry mill where the coffee is ultimately stripped of hull and parchment before being sorted and exported. In this way the farmers are able to receive payment for their crop much more quickly than if they were to use the more typical and time intensive washed/wet process.
Sumatra is the second largest island in the Republic of Indonesia and historically a major player in the world coffee trade. It was here along with Java, Sulawesi and Timor where Dutch colonial traders first introduced African arabica coffee trees in the 18th century. Since that time, those original varietals have been cross-bred and hybridized to create several, now indigenous Indonesian species like Ateng, Bergendal, Djember and TimTim.