Our dark roast Sumatra is rich and heavy bodied with molasses and earthy notes. It is the ideal coffee for those coffee drinkers who do not like any acid in their cup. The cup is earthy right at the front of the cup and that continues into the middle. The notes of wood appear in the middle with slight eucalyptus mouthfeel. Cedar notes continue into the finish where the sweet notes of molasses develop. The finish is long and smooth, which is typical for a dark roasted coffee from Sumatra.
Roast Color: Dark
Cupping Notes: Earthy, Molasses, Wood
Story: Aceh province (pronounced AH-CHEY) is the northernmost province of Sumatra and its highland territory, surrounding Lake Tawar and the central city of Takengon, is considered to be the epicenter of one of the world’s most unique coffee terroirs. North Sumatra province, just below Aceh, is a varied territory with high elevation grasslands, mountain ranges, and the massive Lake Toba, another of the island’s most famous coffee producing areas. Sumatra’s smallholder coffee is a complicated process. Notably, processing is typically not overseen by a single individual or team; instead, coffee moves task by task through different parties before reaching its final, fully-dried, state. Coffee farms tend to average 0.5-2 hectares each. Every coffee village has a collector (or more) who receives fresh-picked cherry, or humid parchment, for processing each day. Once a batch of coffee has been depulped, fermented overnight, washed clean, and then quickly sun-dried to the touch, each collector then delivers the batch to a central miller. It is at the mill where the coffee is mechanically hulled of its parchment, leaving behind just the soft, high-moisture coffee bean (thus earning the term “wet-hulled”), all of which is spread out on large patios to continue drying.
I prefer medium to light for straight coffee but really bold dark coffee beans with low acidity for milk-based drinks. I've tried many dark roasts but keep coming back to the Sumatra Dark from McLaughlin. It remains consistent over the years and has a rich flavor I don't get tired of when making my Lattes. It's difficult to find coffees that are distinct but not to the point you grow tired of the uniqueness. This blend is the everyday workhorse for our household that we drink daily.
COFFEE GIVING YOU ACID REFLUX? SWITCH TO MCLAUGHLIN'S DARK ROAST SUMATRA
If you love rich-tasting dark roast coffee but your stomach is irritated by the acid, the solution could be to switch to a low-acid dark roast and to use a French press to prepare it in the cold-brew manner. After years of stomach irritation, this combination provides the solution I have been searching for!
And there is no compromise in flavor. McLaughlins recommend their dark roast Sumatra as a low-acid alternative however it's brewed, and its sensational flavor has made it the only coffee I purchase anymore.
To get the best out of these beans, rough-grind them and let them soak in the right amount of water overnight at room temperature. Every once in a while, give them a stir. This is the much-ballyhooed cold-brew method, these days all the rage, but it’s been used for generations by coffee purists, mostly in Europe.
After its overnight soak, use your French press to separate the grounds from the liquid, and decant the coffee in glass flask you can store in the fridge and use as required -- over ice as a cold-brew, or in the microwave to serve hot with none of the staleness induced by hot-water brewing methods like drip grind.
Cold-brew requires a lot of beans, and I devote a cup of rough-ground Sumatra beans to make a 44-oz. batch that lasts me three days, with the last cup as delicious as the first. Heat is coffee's arch-enemy, and my cold-brew Sumatra never exceeds room temperature until I pour my first cup. Just before drinking it, I microwave my cup of coffee for two minutes. The result is amazing.
What I get is a rich-yet-mellow, deep-bodied but chocolatey rather than bitter cup of coffee. For people with sensitive stomachs, this brewing method is optimal -- and when used with low-acid beans, coffee-induced acid reflux, for me, anyway, is a thing of the past.
I make a 44-oz. batch and keep it in a flask in the fridge, giving me three days' worth of coffee I can drink cold or hot, and the last cup tastes as fresh as the first.
(Some people pour near-boiling water into their French press but I contend that the overnight cold-brew approach provides a noticeably superior flavor.)
Everyone has their preferences: my favorite coffee taste is mellow and chocolatey with lots of body and deep-roast flavor. Using the cold-brew/French press preparation method, McLaughlin's dark roast Sumatra delivers this flavor with greater individuality and uniqueness than any other coffee I have tried to date.
One final recommendation for would-be French pressers: once you're a confirmed cold-brewer, get a Frieling French press and you will have the pleasure of working with a masterpiece of design and function. Its all stainless steel design (no plastic is used, for the filters or anything else) is something you can pass along to your grandchildren. A large, 44-oz. model sells for around $130. (I don’t keep my Frieling in the fridge: for decanting I use a blown-glass carafe.)
This coffee is smooth, rich and full of flavor. Both regular and decaffeinated Sumatra are a pleasure for your early morning wake up, and for your evening rest and relax satisfaction. A perfectly delicious flavor from McLaughlin’s coffee Roasters. You will be proud of serving your guests or saving for you own treasure. I highly recommend.