Sumatran coffee is almost always processed via the Wet Hulled (semi-washed) method which gives it all that earthiness and foresty flavors. We've only had a couple of fully washed process Sumatra beans in stock before, and they were always super high quality crops from Lintong or Aceh. So I didn't have real high hopes for a washed process Mandheling, but it really does work!
I like it best at just 5 to 10 seconds of 2nd cracks. You get all the great flavor and body of dark syrupy Sumatra, but none of the earthiness or smoke or burnt tastes. In a french press, I pick out definite notes of cedar beneath the rich body and slight hints of grapefruit acidity. It's quite pleasant!
The lighter roasts? Well, you still get that nice full body, and it's creamy, sweet, no earthiness at all, but it does showcase some prominent herbal and roasted pepper notes that I don't find preferable. Really dark roasts? Definitely nice, but flattens out and you lose a lot of the flavors. At that point it just tastes like a clean triple-sorted Sumatra. Either way, it's a fun coffee to try since it's so rare to see a fully washed bean out of Sumatra.
Arrival February 2020