08 Mar 2020
Good morning, and welcome to daylight savings time. To help us spring forward today, we’ll be looking at the next selection from the World Market Direct Trade Coffee Sampler: the Sumatran Mandheling.
The Mandheling is a dark, semi-course grind, with a strong, punchy aroma, even before it’s brewed. The label reports it as a medium/ dark roast with “hints of earthiness and a full, syrupy body.” The brew comes up pretty dark — almost black — in contrast to the more auburn or even red tint of the last couple samplers. The aroma of the brewed cup, while it retains the characteristic bitterness the un-brewed grounds, seems milder (though my nose is just a little blocked this morning, so don’t take my word for it).
I’ve noted in the past that I sometimes have trouble with “earthy” as an adjective for food and drink. It’s hard for me to put my finger on precise description, so much like early 20th century computer scientists’ definition for “algorithm,” my definition is I know it when I see it. And let me tell you, this is it.
The Mandheling has a pleasant bitterness that rests on the palette, and a fullness (umami perhaps?) that seems to activate all the taste buds. Hard to say if the earthiness is a result of these components or something separate, but it’s definitely there. Whether on its own or with a little dessert, the Mandheling is a complex, bold brew you’re sure to enjoy. 9.5/10.