Sumatra is one of the great romance coffees of the world. The island has three main growing regions: the province of Aceh in the north, the lake Toba region a little to the south and in the south of the island around Mangkuraja. The finest of the traditional Arabica coffees of northern and central Sumatra are sold under the market names Lintong and Mandheling.
Our Lington single origin coffee is grown in a relatively small region just southwest of Lake Toba in the kecamatan or district of Lintongnihuta. Small plots of coffee are scattered over a high, undulating plateau of fern-covered clay. The coffee is grown without shade, but also without chemicals of any kind, and almost entirely by small holders.
Sellers often label Lintong and Mandheling coffees dry-processed. In fact, the fruit usually is removed from the bean by a variety of hybrid methods. The most prevalent is a semi-washed/wet-hulled process. The farmers remove the skins from their little crops of coffee cherries immediately after picking. The skinned, slimy beans are then allowed to ferment overnight in woven plastic bags. In the morning the fruit pulp or mucilage, loosened by the overnight fermentation, is washed off the beans by hand. The coffee is given a preliminary drying on sheets in the farmer's front yard. The parchment skin is then removed by machine at a middleman's warehouse and the coffee is further dried. Finally, the coffee is trucked down to the port city of Medan, where it is dried a third and last time.
These semi-washed coffees have lower acidity and more body than other coffees, and the process creates a number of different flavours with our particular Lingtong providing a smooth, mellow, rounded medium strength coffee with an earthy aroma.