two coffees from zimbabwe & sumatra
Clubs of America | Jun 13, 2016
ZIMBABWE AA PLUS SALIMBA ESTATE — FULL CITY ROAST —
The Salimba Estate in the Chipinga region, located at an altitude of 900 to 1,000 meters in Eastern Zimbabwe, first planted coffee in 1955. Located at 20.2° South and 33° East, the soil is sandy clay loam. The average annual rainfall is approximately 1,250mm, falling mainly between November and April. A small percentage of the annual rainfall comes from their winter mists that occur May through July. Harvest of the coffee (mostly the Arabica variety) occurs from May through September.
The varieties grown at the Salimba Estate are a mixture of Catimor varieties, with a small percentage (10%) of SL28 coffee. They have a program set in place that uproots and replants each field every seven or eight years, which allows the cherries to be harvested from young trees, which are largely disease free.
All coffee is hand-picked as red cherries. To ensure that the coffee is at the best stage for harvesting, the trees are picked approximately ten times throughout the season. This technique yields a main grade return of about 85%.
As you tip your cup of Zimbabwe Full City Roast, you’ll find it to be clean and bright, full bodied and wonderfully complex. Aromas of sweet chocolate will introduce you to full flavors and subtle nuances of caramel, grapes, wood, tobacco and more even more mocha, with an added winey touch. The bright acidity is an added bonus.
SUMATRA GRADE 1 MANDHELING — VIENNA ROAST —
Many of the islands of Indonesia were formed by volcanoes. Therefore, they are mountainous and have rich soil that is ideal for growing coffee. It is no wonder that some of the world’s most famous coffees are grown on the islands of the Malay Archipelago of Indonesia: Sumatra, Sulawesi and Java. Approximately 15% of all the coffee grown in Indonesia is Arabica. Sumatra is the second largest island of the Republic of Indonesia. Sumatra Mandheling is grown on the lofty volcanic slopes of Mount Leuser, near the port of Padang in the Balak region of west-central Sumatra.
Coffee trees were originally brought to Indonesia in the early 19th century by the Dutch, who sought to break the world-wide Arabic monopoly on that crop’s cultivation. Within a few years, Indonesian coffee dominated the world’s market. Yet, by the end of the century, disease completely destroyed the crop. Coffee trees were successfully replanted and quickly gained a large share of the world market, until the plantations were ravaged again during World War II. (“Mandailing,” spelled here correctly, is technically an ethnic group in Indonesia, not a region, as is Balak.)
The unique method used in its production results in a very full body with a concentrated flavor, garnished with herbal nuances and a spicy finish. Giling Basah, the name of the traditional Sumatran process, involves hulling the parchment off the bean at roughly 50% moisture content. (Most others do so at 10-12%.) This process results in a trademark flavor profile (low acidity and a richness that lingers on the back of the palate), and gives the green beans their signature dark color. Notes of chocolate are evident in the finish.
We buy Grade 1 Sumatras as DP (Double Picked) or TP (Triple Picked), referring to the number of times it is checked for defects. This extra quality control results in a very consistent cup, including only cherries of optimum ripeness. Cup characteristics include strong cedar notes with a slightly earthy aroma. Consistent and balanced, flavors of herbs, wine, spicy wood and sweet tobacco, plus a little chocolate, are all present in each full bodied, mildly acidic cup.