The Jakarta Post
A Gayo longberry coffee tree at the Starbucks Farmer Support Center in Brastagi, North Sumatra. (JP/Jessicha Valentina)
Sumatran coffee is said to be the most popular single origin coffee at Starbucks.
In fact, the Sumatra blend is not only popular among Starbucks’ customers. Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks, is also a fan of Sumatran coffee.
In a letter announcing his resignation, Schultz wrote, “I write to you today enjoying a french press of my favorite coffee, aged Sumatra, and [I am] feeling so many emotions.”
Here comes the question: What made the founder of the world’s largest coffee chain fall in love with Sumatran coffee?
Surip Mawardi, an agronomist at the Starbucks Farmer Support Center, told The Jakarta Post that Sumatran coffee has several specific characters, namely full-bodied, complex flavor and a long aftertaste, that makes it loved by many.
These characteristics are down to two factors: geographical conditions and people.
Read also: In search of Indonesia's best-quality coffee
Surip said Sumatra has fertile volcanic soil and high rainfall.
Although Java has volcanic soil, rainfall is considerably lower than in Sumatra.
In regard to the people, Surip mentioned that Sumatran farmers have a unique way of processing coffee.
Known as semi-washed, the coffee is wet-hulled, resulting in a complex flavor.
“Coffee from other countries usually uses full-washed processing,” said Surip, explaining why Sumatran coffee has a one of a kind flavor. (kes)