Sumatra Dolok Sanggul


Dark Choc Chips, Pink Grapefruit, Rosemary

Dark chocolate deliciousness from Sumatra, all the sweetness and body you need in espresso, with a beautiful long orange oil and herbal finish.

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Where in the world?


Dolok Sanggul


PT Musfaha Niaga Mandiri


1,300–1,500 masl


Ateng Super, Catimor, Bourbon


Giling Basah


Dark Choc Chips, Pink Grapefruit, Rosemary

What’s the story?

Big body, big sweetness and big flavour….this is a big coffee! Whilst tasting as a team the most involved flavour note was “Like when you bite into a dark choc chip cookie and take off a little chunk of the chocolate chip” (Nice, Mike) The point being there is a delicious dark chocolate flavour to this coffee, that is also creamy sweet. Like the best Sumatran coffees, this also has a really lovely herbal note, we kept picking out rosemary. There is also a lingering counterpoint of pink grapefruit acidity.

The dark chocolate body and sweetness has a long mouthwatering finish of citrus acidity, that we had as somewhere between Pink Grapefruit, orange oil and cumquat. This provides an excellent complete cup, first the big choc, moorish and unctuous, and then delicious citrus acidity and a delicate rosemary note.

All that makes it a no-brainer for rich super heavy espresso, but also the kind of sweet and dark coffee that is superb in a steeped method like French Press or Clever Dripper.

This coffee is grown by farmers in the areas of Ria Ria and Huta Paung, slightly to the north of the town of Dolok Sanggul in Northern Sumatra The growing areas are in the foothills of a massive volcano, the crater of which contains Lake Toba, the largest volcanic lake in the world.

The surrounding area is lined with plateaus of various elevations and is pastoral, humid, and cool. Coffees from the Toba area have been fed by the rich volcanic soils and the coffee cherries develop slowly in the cool climate allowing for some of the most vibrant and acid-defined coffees on the entire island.
The coffee is sourced from individual farmers and groups with whom the local mill have cultivated relationships spanning generations. The majority of the coffee procured and processed at the Musfaha Dry Mill is of the wet-hulled variety. Their approach to cup profiles is to avoid ‘mundane’ while delivering clean, distinctive flavours.

The unique flavour profile of this coffee not only comes from its terroir but also the method of processing, which is unique to Sumatra. Small scale farmers pick their beans and pulp the coffee, removing the cherry flesh, then wash the coffee by hand in small containers. This is then taken to local collectors or mills who will partly dry the coffee for a day or so, before then milling the parchment layer off the coffee, whilst still at 35-40% moisture. This then leaves the coffee beans completely exposed and so they dry much quicker than if in their parchment.

In other origins coffee is either laid out in the cherry to dry, or washed coffee is left to dry in its parchment layer. The beans will be left to dry until moisture content is reduced to 11% which can take 2-3 weeks. The coffee is then dry milled to remove the parchment and release the coffee beans ready for final preparation before export.

However the climate in Sumatra has always been very unpredictable, which made traditional methods of post harvest processing hard, as farmers don’t know when it will be safe to lay out coffee for drying
The wet hulling method is economically beneficial for the farmers as they can be paid regularly for small amounts, rather than depending on one annual payment for their harvest. Also the coffee drying process is quicker, which means it can be stored quicker and therefore safer from the elements.

Done badly, this can expose the coffee beans to all sorts of elements that do not help the coffee at all, but done well, creates a very distinctive cup, as the moist beans will absorb flavours from their surroundings creating a distinctive herbal and complex flavour, combined with the big body and sweetness.

Brewing Recipe


Dose: 17g in
Yield: 39g out
Time: 27 seconds

FILTER: French Press

Dose: 35g
Brew Water: 500ml
Time: 5:00