Best Sumatra Coffee to Pick – Reviews and Insights

Are you on the hunt for Sumatra coffee? If yes, then let us help you out finding the best Sumatra coffee that you can possibly get that offers value, taste and affordability.

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Sumatra coffee has an earthy and distinct flavor. This coffee has exclusive processing. For the coffee fans, this is a love it or hate it coffee.

The aging process of Sumatra beans gives a spicy note to the unique flavors of this coffee bean.

Here are some of the best Sumatra coffee options that you can easily find at your local grocery mart or at an online store.

Our Top Pick for the Best Sumatra Coffee

You might find quite a lot of options in the Sumatra coffee category, but you won’t find many that have the unique Sumatra distinctive taste and flavor.

Volcania Sumatra Mandheling coffee is certainly one of the best Sumatra coffee beans that you might find. Even though they are a little expensive, however, the consistently medium roasted beans with the unique earthy and herbal flavor makes it a standout product.

Best Sumatra Coffee Brands Available

Here are some of the good options that you can buy in the Sumatra coffee product category:

  1. Volcania Sumatra Mandheling Coffee Beans
  2. Camano Island Organic Sumatra Dark Roast Coffee 
  3. Organic Sumatra Swiss Water Decaf Coffee by Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC
  4. AmazonFresh Organic Fair Trade Sumatra Ground Coffee
  5. Starbucks Sumatra Brewed Coffee Verismo Pods 
  6. Starbucks Sumatra, Whole Bean Coffee

Volcania Sumatra Mandheling Coffee Beans

Sumatra Mandheling Coffee Beans

The most recommended of all Sumatran coffees is the Volcania Sumatra Mandheling coffee. The beans of this coffee have amazing and earthy base notes.

The Aroma & the Flavor – Best Overall

These earthy base notes are balanced by intricate flavor profile that includes brown sugar, dried fruit and wine. The aftertaste of this coffee is thick and much like a syrup. It has a pleasant aroma of brown spice and cocoa.

The cup of coffee brewed is delightfully smooth with a rich and full body to it. The beans go through numerous processes before giving us our favorite cup of coffee.

How are the Beans Grown?

First, they are semi-washed, then sun-dried and in the end, they are medium roasted. The beans are cultivated in volcanic soil at around 3,000 feet of altitude and are somewhat on the expensive side.

The brand Volcanica offers these beans as well as numerous others with Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, Shade Grown and organic certifications.

Customer Satisfaction Guarantee

This coffee has a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee from the brand itself and it assures a tight Amazon inventory. So, one thing you can be sure of is that you will get your beans fresh. 

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Pros

  • Rich and delicious in flavor
  • 100% customer satisfaction guarantee
  • Great after-taste
  • Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, and shade-grown certifications

Cons

  • Fairly expensive as compared to competitor products.

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Camano Island Organic Sumatra Dark Roast Coffee

Camano Island Organic Sumatra Dark Roast Coffee

The Camano Island Coffee is on our list of Organic recommendation. The coffee itself is anything but underwhelming.

Premium Fresh Roasted Coffee

This is a medium-dark roast and makes for a fresh and robust brew. It is packaged within 48 hours of roasting so that the customers get fresh coffee. Due to the ethical and sustainable practices, this coffee is loved by many.

Flavor of Camano Island Coffee

It has a rich flavor, and is uniquely vibrant. A great thing about Camano Island coffee is that it has the least amount of caffeine present in it. This means it has little bit of acidity and is loved by people as an after-dinner treat.

It has rich and intense fruit tones, sweet, nutty and full bodied. Any time of the day is perfect to consume it but mostly it is loved as a dessert coffee.

It is USDA certified, shade grown and fair trade certified.

Over 90% of coffee beans in Sumatra is grown by smallholders, on farms of around one hectare (approx. 2.5 acres) in land size.

Satisfaction in Every Roast

One thing you won’t complain about is your coffee lacking flavor! Every roast is made to perfection and you will love this low caffeine coffee.

Pros

  • Dark medium roast
  • Rich and intense flavor
  • USDA, shade grown and fair trade certified

Cons

  • Somewhat acidic

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Organic Sumatra Swiss Water Decaf Coffee by Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC

Organic Sumatra Swiss Water Decaf Coffee by Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC

Flavor of Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC

The French Roasted coffee is earthy, creamy and decaffeinated. There are rich undertones of chocolate present in this coffee. It is bold, intense and minimally bitter. Suitable for those who want to give up the caffeine but not the flavor.

How are the Beans Grown?

The beans are wet hulled, sun dried and semi washed. The single origin coffee is grown at an elevation of about 4,000 feet.

In order to minimize the carbon footprint, it is roasted in environmentally friendly Loring Roaster.

Price Affordability

The French Roasted coffee LLC is fairly priced. It has low acidic content but lacks the unique flavor of Mandheling beans.

It is USDA and Fair Trade certified. It is available as whole bean or pre-ground coffee.

Pros

  • Whole bean
  • Modestly priced
  • Single origin

Cons

  • Less fresh beans
  • Lacking earthy Mandheling flavor

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AmazonFresh Organic Fair Trade Sumatra Ground Coffee

AmazonFresh Organic Fair Trade Sumatra Ground Coffee

The AmazonFresh Organic Fair Trade Sumatra Ground coffee is certified by both Organic and Fair Trade.

Deep & Intense Coffee Flavor

This coffee has a dark, smoky and chocolatey flavor. With all the expertise coming into play, the beans are roasted in a way that maintain the rich and bold aroma, perfect for an espresso drink as well.

Freshly Served Beans

With a one-way freshness valve, the coffee beans are packed right away as soon as the roasting process is done.

The packing is such that it stays fresh and full of aroma. If you are looking for pre-ground beans, then this is a great choice for you.

Pros

  • Priced reasonably
  • Fresh served coffee beans
  • Dark roast
  • Low acidity

Cons

  • Flavor is not as strong or dark as it claims to be

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Starbucks Sumatra Brewed Coffee Verismo Pods

Starbucks Sumatra Brewed Coffee Verismo Pods

These coffee pods are a good option if you own the Verismo Coffee System by Starbucks. With no acidity, these Sumatra brewed espresso and coffee pods are made

Flavor of Starbucks Sumatra Brewed Coffee

Starbucks Sumatra Brewed Coffee has an earthy and herbal flavor. It has a full body with a smooth feel. It has lingering flavors of dried herbs and fresh earth.

Transformation into a Bold Flavor

The unpredictable beans are transformed via roasters from dark, coral green to tiger-orange to a rich, oily mahogany, and bold flavors that we love.

Pros

  • Bold and rich flavor
  • Low acidity
  • 100% Arabica ground coffee
  • Pack of 24 Verismo pods

Cons

  • Not enough strength for making Americano

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Starbucks Sumatra Whole Bean Coffee

Starbucks Sumatra Whole Bean Coffee

Major Purchaser of Sumatran Coffee

It might interest you to know that one of the biggest buyers of Sumatran coffee is none other than the famous coffee franchise – Starbucks.

Starbucks has this single origin coffee available as a premium option in the Starbucks Reserve line. It is one step ahead of their regular pre-ground options.

Flavor of Starbucks Sumatra

This full-bodied coffee has a strong, herbal, earthy aroma and dark roast – that recalls the classic flavor profile the Sumatra coffee is famous for.

You can pair it with a sweet or strong flavorful breakfast items such as syrupy pancakes or cinnamon rolls.

Pros

  • Available in whole bean or ground coffee
  • Rich and strong taste

Cons

  • Less fresh beans
  • Less flavourful compared to other Starbucks brews

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What is Sumatra Coffee?

Sumatra coffee comes from a particular region of Indonesia. Coffee from this region is not the only Indonesian coffee.

Another renowned coffee is Java, it has become so famous that sometimes the word Java is used interchangeably with coffee.

The island of Sumatra has the impeccable climate for growing Arabica beans. It has perfectly balanced soil, couple with the island’s location on the equator make for a tropical climate well suited to growing Arabic beans.

In general, the Sumatra coffees are low in acidic component, with a full body. Most of them have rich and earthy tastes with woody aromas.

These beans are usually sold as dark or medium roasts. Recently, there has been a pressure from the masses to produce light roasts that can result in lighter brews.

Where Is Sumatra?

The sixth largest island in the world is Sumatra, it is one of the four Greater Sunda Islands of Indonesia along with Java, Sulawesi and Borneo.

Best Varieties of Sumatra Coffee

Let’s discuss some varieties of Sumatra coffee. The high-quality Sumatra coffees are produced between 2500 and 5000 feet of altitude.

Mandheling

Mandheling coffee derives its name after a certain tribe in Sumatra. This coffee is grown near Padang in the west-central area. The acidity component is very low but contributes to some complexity of the brew.

It has a spice based profile, includes notes such as nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom. Often times people note chocolate as well as liquorice flavours.

A lot of people believe that Mandheling coffee is the best Sumatran coffee. Some others feel that it is over-hyped.

Ankola

Ankola is cultivated near the port of Padang. It is produced between 2500 and 5000 feel above sea level. This coffee is dry processed in reality, unlike many other Sumatran coffee types. Traditionally wet processing is done.

The dry processing creates a more identical presence in the batches. This is categorized by its low acidity.

Lintong

The variety of Lintong is from the north-central, Lintongnihuta area that is near the Lake Toba.

This region has the tendency to produce more of medium bodied brews. However, they still have the earthiness of Sumatran coffee with spice and cedar notes.

These brews are well known for matching the rich flavour of this area with a smooth aftertaste.

Gayo/Aceh

The Gayo area is named after the Gayo mountain nearby and it at about 4200 to 5200 feel above elevation. It is surrounded by the Lake Tawar.

This region is prominent for offering aged-coffee. This exclusive coffee type can be stored for months or even years.

This aging allows for the progress of a different flavour profile than is usual for other Sumatran coffee types. Although it is not noticeably ‘better’ for any particular reason, yet a high value is given to the beans for their uncommonness and complexity.

There is a downside to this and it’s that an additional cost is linked with aged coffee. It is because of the need for storing and additional waste.

Brewing Sumatra Coffee Beans

The bold flavor of Sumatra coffee is ideally appropriate for espresso. Make the impeccable espresso shot can however be risky with wet processed beans. You need to practice this in order to be good at it.

The temperature should be kept lower so as not to burn the already heavy body. The shots should not be run for too long. Try your best to keep the flavors balanced, so the strength of coffee can be highlighted.

No Espresso, No Problem

If you down own an espresso machine, you can use an Aeropress or stovetop espresso machine. You will have to get used to these, but when you have the potential, you can perfect it in time.

As an alternative, it is wonderful for cold brew. Set the grinder and then use the French press cold brewing technique in order to produce a chilled and rich in flavor cup.

Cold brew is even lower in acidity than a regular Sumatran coffee. The low acid component is full of antioxidants and is good for your teeth and stomach too.  

Processing Gives the Unique Flavor

The beans get the flavor from a processing method called Wet hulling, or giling basah – Bahasa is a language spoken in Sumatra. Some other names that you might hear for this process are dry processing or natural processing.

In the process of wet hulling, the beans retain a greater humidity content compared to the other methods. A lot of coffee growing countries dry their beans to around 11% remaining moisture. With this giling basah method, the beans dry 50% moisture content. This method gives the unique flavor to coffee beans.

FAQs

Is Sumatra coffee good for espresso?

Sumatran coffees are a great choice for a strong, punchy coffee drink, because of the intense flavors that shine through.

Is Starbucks Sumatra low acid?

Like the lush Indonesian island of its origin, this spicy coffee stands alone. it is a full-bodied coffee drink with almost no acidity.

What does Sumatra coffee taste like?

With a body as full as any premium coffees, Sumatra Mandheling is frequently described as syrupy. Despite a subdued acidity the tastes are complex and intense, and a chocolate sweet flavor often holds earthy undertones.

Does Sumatra coffee have more caffeine?

No, Sumatra coffee does not have more caffeine than other Arabicas. Robusta beans have more caffeine than Arabica, but most coffees from Sumatra are Arabicas.

Wrapping Up our Sumatra Coffee Guide

The coffee lovers who are keen to discover different coffee flavors should definitely try the Sumatra coffee – it is one of the earliest varieties of coffee that is available.

If you like the earthy and spicy flavor profile, then this will definitely be your new favorite go-to coffee. This coffee works well with high quality blends as well as it offers an intricate base note for other tastes.

And if you are able to get your hands on the best Sumatra coffee available out there, then it is highly likely that you will become a fan of it.

The best part is the fact that its unique flavor will make you love it or hate it – there is no hanging in between for most of the people who try it for the first time.

Let’s see which side you’re on 🙂