Stockton and Graham

Sumatra Mandheling

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Origin: Mandheling growing region, North Sumatra Province, Sumatra, Indonesia.

Roast: Very Dark

Est. Price:

Review Date: November 2002

Agtron: 36/32

Aroma: 8

Acidity: n/a

Body: 7

Flavor: 7

Blind Assessment:

Lindsey Bolger: “Intense aroma of fresh-from-oven brownies. Flavors of dark chocolate and sweet caramel compliment the rather dark roast. I added points to acknowledge the roaster’s skill in pairing the roast so appropriately to the coffee” (85). Ken also was impressed by the aroma: “richly low-toned, chocolaty, malty, spicy, complex. In the cup gently roasty, complicated by dry fruit and malt notes. A slightly astringent finish lowered my score” (84).


Mandheling, grown in districts around lake Toba in North Sumatra Province, is the classic Sumatra origin. Technically it is a wet-processed coffee, but a series of peculiarities in how it is processed and dried give it its characteristic low-key richness and idiosyncratic, often unpredictable, flavor notes. Stockton and Graham is a quality-oriented wholesale roaster whose slogan or subtitle is “global beverage experiences.” Visit www.stocktongraham.com or call 800-835-5943 for more info.

Who Should Drink It: Lovers of traditional Sumatra Mandhelings, with their low-toned complexity and ambiguous mustiness that, in a well-handled dark roast like this one, bring to mind good things like dark chocolate and oven-fresh brownies (Lindsey) or chocolate-toned dry fruit and malt (Ken).

This review originally appeared in the November, 2002 tasting report: What Makes Sumatra Coffees Taste The Way They Do?

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