Fabled for its rainforests and wildlife, Sumatra remains a destination most travellers resign to their “someday” list. Someday is now. One of the largest islands in the world, this lush Indonesian gem is ideal for adventurers looking for something beyond the ordinary. Originally named “Samudra”, for ocean, Sumatra sits astride the Straits of Malacca, a maritime choke point through which all seaborne traffic to and from East Asia must pass. Long contested by a variety of colonial powers, including the Dutch, British, Japanese, and Chinese, Sumatra today is a major tourist destination. While it sustained severe damage and loss of life in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Sumatra has since begun a slow recovery, and tourism is again on the rise.
The best Indonesian coffees come from the prime coffee-growing region of Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Java Arabica. In general these coffees are known for their full-bodied, rich taste and vibrant yet low-toned and gentle acidity, and long finish/aftertaste. Sumatra is the largest producer of Indonesian coffee. Tour the coffee plantations and taste some of the choicest blends, including Arabica, which is exported to countries around the world.
Meanwhile, the island of Sumatra is known for its varied roasts. Among the most popular is the darker Arabica variety grown in Northern Sumatra. There are hints of flavors that come from smoke, tobacco, cocoa, cedar and earth. If you travel in Sumatra, you will notice that the coffee is a bit acidic. You can visit Gayo Mountain, Mangkuraja, and Lintongnihuta regions in Sumatra and immerse yourself in the coffee production industry.
However, don’t shy away from another renowned type of coffee, the kopi luwak, which is produced mostly in the center of the small island—it’s made with droppings collected after little raccoon-like creatures have munched on the coffee beans.
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