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Wahana Estate coffees are some of our favorite Indonesian coffees because 1) it is obvious from drinking them how much meticulous care goes into producing them and 2) they challenge the traditional perception of what Sumatran coffees are "supposed" to taste like.
Wahana estate was established in 2005 to produce high quality, highly traceable, and environmentally sustainable specialty coffees. Located in the Sidikalang-Dairi district in Northern Sumatra, Wahana Estate sits on 500 hectares of prime coffee growing land neighboring Lake Toba. The estate contained a number of both local and imported coffee varietals, all of which are processed at the estate’s coffee mill. Thanks to having their own mill, Wahana Estate is able to lend a helping hand to their local coffee community by purchasing cherries from local farmers. Every morning workers set out in trucks traveling around Lake Toba collecting coffee cherries and bringing them back to the mill for processing.
Typically in the Sumatra region, coffee undergoes the “wet hulled” process. A fairly quick process of drying and milling coffees that is incredibly rough on the coffee beans. This process, while unappealing to some, produces the heavy, earthy body and taste that the region is known for. Wet hulling is often necessary in a region that can receive over 80 inches of rainfall in a single year. In order to produce high quality coffee, farmers need extended periods of drying time, a luxury that many in Sumatra have to go without. This is in part what makes the two coffees we sourced from Wahana particularly unique. One is a fully washed Longberry, and the other a natural processed Rasuna, neither of which underwent the wet hulled process.
The Wahana Longberry, is a native varietal to the Indonesian growing region. Named after its appearance, the ripened cherries and the beans they enclose have an elongated canoe shape. Most varietals of coffee will produce fruit in 3 years, however the Longberry takes much longer, clocking in at nearly 7 years to produce fruit. This lengthened maturation process is thought to create more intense, concentrated characteristics in the cup. At Wahana Estate, the Longberry is fully washed, fermented for 72 hours, then dried under canopies to 12% before the parchment is removed. For reference, the wet hulled process only dries the coffee to approximately twice the moisture content in a shorter amount of time. The resulting cup is creamy with clear notes of cherry, golden raisins, and date.
The Natural Rasuna is a hybrid varietal of the Catimor and Typica coffee varietals that originated in the Sumatra region. By combining these two varietals, Indonesian farmers were able to produce a tree that combined the long lifespan of the Typica with the higher yield of the Catimor. On the estate the coffee undergoes the natural processing method where the beans are dried in the cherry under canopies producing a sweet, fruity cup profile with prominent ripe plum and strawberry notes.
We hope you enjoy these two exceptional coffees that offer a unique take on Sumatran coffee!