Saturday, July 14, 2007

Kopi Mandheling


Mandheling

1945. Sebagai acara perpisahan, beberapa Tentara Jepang (TJ) mampir di kedai kopi pak Regar (PR).
TJ: Umai! (Enak) Kore doko kara? Dari, mana?
PR: (menyangka pak tentara menyebut Omae = kamu)
PR: Sahaja? Dari Mandailing, Tuan...
TJ: E? Nani? Mandeeringgu?
PR: Ya tuan. Mandailing tuan.
TJ: Ah, sou... (sambil manggut-manggut).

Sepuluh tahun kemudian, telepon luar negeri untuk Pwani, seorang makelar beken di tanah Sumatra, berdering di meja operator. Terjadilah transaksi mengapalkan 15 ton Kopi Arabika bermutu tinggi dari Sumatra ke Jepang, sebagai tonggak keberhasilan ekspor besar-besaran pertama, dengan label yang menginternasional sejak saat itu: Mandheling (yang sebenarnya bukan nama tempat, melainkan semata-mata plesetan nama kelompok etnik yang kebetulan paling terlibat dalam produksi kopi, Mandailing, yang saya masih penasaran apa hubungannya dengan Mandarin dan alat musik Mandolin).

Di Indonesia malah paling juga tahunya kopi Medan...
BTW: Ini hanya gosip dari Sumatra. Pada kenyataannya, jauh sebelum perang dunia II, dalam katalog grosir kodian Sears tahun 1903 tercatat "Java Mandailing" for sale. Saat itu, sudah umum untuk memanggil semua kopi Indonesia dengan Java-ini dan-anu (bukan berarti berasal dari Jawa).

... Terkenang sekaleng Mandheling,
mendukungku bergadang di lab saat-saat genting...
Sebagai makhluk yang
tak mampu membedakan Nescafe dengan Kapal Api,
ibarat menghadiahi mutiara kepada seekor sapi
(^-^; Belum paham apa enaknya...
Pahit gila! Tapi manjur lah...

There is a story, it might be myth or it might be true, about the origin of Mandheling coffee. It explains why if you are ever in Sumatra looking for these coffee fields on a map, you may never find them, because Mandheling is an ethnic group, not a town.

The story goes that during the Japanese occupation a soldier asked a shop owner what the excellent coffee was that he was being served. Misunderstanding the question and thinking he was being asked what HE was, the owner's reply was "Mandheling". After the war the soldier contacted a broker in Sumatra asking if the excellent coffee "Mandheling" was commercially available, and they shipped 15 tons of coffee to Japan that year. The rest, as they say, is history.

Of course Sumatra did not start producing coffee just because of this encounter. Coffee production began there in the 18th century under colonial domination in the northern region of Aceh before spreading to Lake Toba, Lintong, Nihuta, Sumbul and Takengon. The Mandheling are the Indonesian ethic group that is most involved in coffee production.

Over time Mandheling has gained a reputation for its consistent quality and its very specific cup qualities which include a desirable deep husky flavour.

2 comments:

admincrazy said...

Terima kasih pak atas informasinya.
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kaos-o said...

Artikel yang menarik, simplel, luwes, Kopi mandailing minuman khas yang berkesan. Ingat kampung halaman di Sipirok.
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