The Mandheling

The Sumatra Mandheling

The west coast of Sumatra is now deserted. Coastal cities, such as Barus, Sibolga, Natal, Air Bangis, and Padang, are no longer frenetic. In the past, people from various nations of the world were going back and forth in that place. French pirates have also been in action in that place. Now everything is quiet, only coffee which is left from the past glory of a civilization in that place.

During the colonial period, the Natal sub-district, in Mandailing Regency was a busy port. This port is used to carry coffee harvested from inland North Sumatra to a larger port in Padang, West Sumatra. From Padang, coffee was shipped to all over the world. Since the colonial era, the name of “Mandheling” become one and only most recognized coffee-brand from Sumatra region even until today.

Map of North Sumatra. Coffee from Aceh Gayo region and Lintong which are far-far away from Mandailing are still labelled as Mandheling Coffee until today.

Mandailing coffee is actually not only produced in areas inhabited by the Mandailing ethnicity, but also comes from different region from Sumatra inland, such as Tapanuli, Sibolga, Pakpak. Today, even coffee which is harvested from areas that are far-far away from Mandailing region, such as Lintong coffee, Aceh Gayo are still traded using Mandheling brand due to customer expectation to maintain and inherited experience with the classical Sumatra profile. What sad is, that those who are not familiar, sometimes the label “Mandheling” become even more important than the actual profile of the coffee they purchase.

For those who experience with this classical Sumatra profile, they preserve and inherited experience with smooth, sweet full body that is balanced and intense, low-medium acidity. Depending on the region, or blend of regions, the flavours of the land and processing can be very pronounced. Notes of cocoa, tobacco, earthy, and cedar wood can show well in the cup also dried fruit, clove, and sweet spices.

The Giling Basah (wet hulled) is one of the key to produce Sumatra Classic Mandheling profile. Sumatra Mandheling has no origin, It is blend from various variety of Arabica coffee harvested from different region, different altitudes, and produce by hundreds thousands of small scale producers. Its processing method is the main factor that create the profile of Classical Sumatra Mandheling which we preserved and passed on for centuries. Read more about Giling Basah

Ketiara Cooperative also produce Sumatra Classic Mandheling which is produce from 100% origin Gayo Highland coffee farms. Unlike other part of Sumatra, In Gayo, arabica grown is hybrid (cross) cultivar from Catimor, Caturra, Bourbon-Typica group, including Adsenia or Abyssinia. This is what make our Sumatra Classic Mandheling become our #1 best seller. It has rather complex profile which is full bodied with intense and balance, low to medium acidity, seductive earthy aroma, sweet, dark chocolate, herbs. Its kind of old school, as if we were experience again with the similar Mandheling produced centuries ago during the colonial era. Read more