About Sumatra Mandheling Coffee
According to a possibly apocryphal story, Sumatra Mandheling Arabica Coffee or usually called Mandheling coffee got its name due to a misunderstanding between a Japanese soldier and a Sumatran café owner. The soldier asked what kind of coffee he was enjoying. The café owner thought he was being asked who his people were, and answered “Mandhailing”. The Mandhailing (as spelled when referring to the ethnic group) people, closely related to the Batak peoples that have inhabited the interior of Sumatra for over 2,500 years, sell coffee. Coffee is not, however, grown in the Mandhailing province (it is mostly from the Lintong and Aceh provinces). At that time most Sumatran coffee was produced for local consumption. The soldier, after the war and upon returning to Japan, sought out this “Mandheling” coffee by contacting a trader in Sumatra. The trader complied, and a “brand” was created.