Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Mugged: Sumatra Mandheling [Coffee Labs]


What does "Mugged" mean?

Coffee Labs Roasters
Coffee Mugged:
Sumatra Mandheling

Rating: 4+
[see key]

*updated 4.19.11

hen the topic of favorite coffee comes up, many people seem to throw out Sumatra as their top pick. Granted I am sure some of them actually have carefully weighed out that designation but for most, I think people just like the idea of getting their coffee from an exotic Pacific Island.

Regardless of how much research goes into it, Sumatra does produce some decent coffee. Recently, Roaste offered a chance to review one of the many coffees they purvey and looking to try out a decent Sumatran (Africa and America have been dominating my cup as of late), I set my sights on Coffee Labs Roasters' Sumatra Mandheling. Having store credit, I glided quite quickly through Roaste's checkout process and awaited my coffee directly from Coffee Labs.

Upon first inspection, the beans were plump and medium-dark. I sampled the coffee via drip, french press and siphon.

The drip threw notes of pound cake, pepper, dark cocoa, a little molasses, some cinnamon, graham cracker and a little smokiness. The overall flavor was a little dark but with pungent sweetness amidst a medium to full body.

The french press held honey, rye, pepper, a little lemon, tobacco, vanilla and cinnamon. A slightly different cup but still a sweet, dark cup.

The siphon proved sweeter, with facets of honey and caramel, a little cashew, some sweet wine, black pepper, tobacco throughout, some apple and a olive oil. The brew had a medium body and a mellow profile.

All in all, Coffee Labs put together a decent Sumatran though the smoky and dark flavors seemed to detract from the other parts of the coffee in my opinion (maybe a lighter roast would have done it). If you are on the lookout for medium/dark Sumatran, give Coffee Labs' Sumatra Mandheling a whirl.
note: coffee was provided free of charge and the above review is objective feedback.

Update 4.19.11
In reading back through this, I realized that I breezed over the impact Roaste had on my experience unfairly. Roaste provided a very simple shopping experience that made purchasing coffee a breeze, from decision to check out to delivery straight from the roaster. The only facet that could improve is that some coffee roasters led to empty pages (such as Kickapoo).


Endang said...

Bill, Sumatra produce some type good coffee that has long been exported, including the famous are "Gayo Coffee" and "Mandheling Coffee", both are arabica, then "Lampung Coffee" from the robusta type are also known. Which is considered the number one and is very popular in Europe is Gayo Coffee, marketed as "Gayo Mountain Coffee". Sometime you should also discuss those coffee.

Greetings coffeelover

Adam said...

Just reading your description of Sumatran coffee makes me want to go out and buy some. Unfortunately I only have a pump nespesso machine at the moment. Maybe I'll just head out and buy a coffee :) Love your blog. Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

Well said. I never thought I would accept this opinion, but I’m starting to see things from a different point of view. I have to study more on this as it looks very interesting. One thing I don’t understand though is how everything is related together.

Anonymous said...

Hey - I am definitely delighted to discover this. Good job!

Moka Joe Coffee said...

MMMM I love Sumatra, we sell 2 Sumatra roasts that are organic and fair trade. We have Sumatran (of course) and Dark Sumatra which is... well... darker. but any Sumatra is fine with me.