Many of the islands of Indonesia were formed by volcanoes which means they are mountainous and have rich soil that is ideal for growing coffee. Sumatra Mandheling is grown on the lofty volcanic slopes of Mount Leuser near the port of Padang in the Balak region. The natural drying method used in its production results in a very full body with a concentrated flavor, garnished with herbal nuances and a spicy finish. The coffee has a low acidity and a richness that lingers on the back corners on your tongue. Notes of chocolate are evident in the finish.
Coffee trees were originally brought to Indonesia in the early 19th century by the Dutch who sought to break the world-wide Arabic monopoly on the cultivation of coffee. “Mandailing”, spelled here correctly, is technically an ethnic group in Indonesia. Traditionally the name Mandheling can be explained by a mythical encounter between occupying Japanese soldiers and Mandailing coffee shop owners. When asking what the excellent coffee they were being served was, the owner misunderstood and thought they were asking what HE was. His reply was, of course “Mandailing”. Later a former Japanese soldier contacted a businessperson in Sumatra after the war, and asked if the excellent coffee “Mandheling” was commercially available.