INTRODUCTION BY EVAN GILMAN
Our 36283 – Sumatra Organic Ketiara Adsenia Triple Picked come from the Ketiara Coop, a 2000-member cooperative centered just outside of Takengon. They source much of their coffee from smallholder farmers near to their productions facilities, with the vast majority of their coffee coming from the Bener Meriah and Aceh Tengah regencies. Aside from coffee milling and processing, they offer farmers financial assistance through a credit union and use fair trade premiums to reinvest in schools, hospitals, and farming equipment for their members. While the Adsenia is a certified organic lot, it is extremely rare for farmers in this region to use chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides due to the scarcity and cost of these chemicals, so this is a relatively easy coffee to certify.
‘Adsenia’ is a fairly new naming convention for Ketiara, and denotes that the coffee comes from a group of about 500 women farmers. All lots marked Adsenia are compiled lots of organic certified coffees that also distinguished themselves by being scored highly by Ketiara’s in-house cupping team. Generally speaking, these lots are scored highly by the Royal team as well, and this is a particularly nice lot. Ketiara Coop has been improving quality for years, and its name has become associated with reliable specialty coffee. Look for a classic wet-hulled Sumatran profile, but with a very clean finish and plenty of sugary sweetness. Fun fact: the name Adsenia originated in a game of ‘telephone’ – the originally given name was ‘Absensia,’ directly translated as Abyssinia.
GREEN ANALYSIS & SCREEN SIZE BY CHRIS KORNMAN
36283 – Sumatra Organic Adsenia Triple Picked is a wet-hulled coffee. As is common practice in Sumatra, the coffee briefly dries in parchment after it is wet-processed, but is then hulled and dried further as raw green beans. It’s entirely common for these coffees to arrive with high moisture content due to this practice. The very large screen size and slightly low density of this particular Sumatra, combined with it’s quite high moisture and water activity will present a number of unique opportunities when roasting. The coffee will offer greater resistance at the beginning stages of roasting, and will almost certainly require additional energy as it approaches Maillard reactions (to which it should respond favorably, in light of the relatively high water activity reading). Once past first crack, it should take on heat well and yield a very sweet roast with a lot of complexity and body, particularly as it approaches second crack. 36283 Sumatra Organic Adsenia Triple Picked is a coffee with a lot to offer, and one that will benefit from the watchful eye of an attentive roaster.
ROAST ANALYSIS BY JEN APODACA
Displayed below are two profiles. PR-0148 has a shorter overall roast time than the more traditional curve of PR-0149.
Our 36283 – Sumatra Organic Ketiara Adsenia Triple Picked is quite a dynamic coffee and both styles of roast were successful on the table and yielded favorable cupping notes. PR-0148 displayed more fruit acidity like blackberry and tangerine as well as some familiar herbal characteristics like cedar and peat moss. In contrast, PR-0149, with its extended roast time and gentler approach to heat application showed more sugar browning characteristics like molasses and dark chocolate with a heavier mouthfeel. The intersection of the development of organic acids and the development of sugar browning was affected considerably by the time the coffee reached first crack.
BREW ANALYSIS BY EVAN GILMAN
For the 36283 – Sumatra Organic Ketiara Adsenia Triple Picked I decided to take my brewing in a different direction. In last week’s analysis, we noted that our grinder (an elderly Ditting, soon to be replaced by a Mahlkonig EK43) generate quite a bit of fine particles that interfere with an even extraction. Taking matters into my own hands, I rooted some (hopefully most) of the fines out with a 250 micron sieve. Though we achieved fairly even extractions without using a sieve, I hoped to sift out any errors in our logic.
The preference from the trading team and the Crown were clear – 6 of 8 preferred sifted grounds to the alternative in a blind tasting. The un-sifted extraction clearly had more dissolved solids and a higher extraction percentage (perhaps too high, though we tend to prefer a pretty strong cup of coffee). Looking at the chart below, you can see that the un-sifted grounds led to a heavier extraction and longer brew time.
In the next test our two roasts, PR-148 and PR-149, were brewed side by side using two Chemex brewers. In this case, both coffees were sifted and preferences between the two brews were split right down the middle: Five people chose PR-148, and five chose PR-149. As you can see in the chart below, the brew of PR-148 has slightly more dissolved solids, whereas PR-149 has slightly less. Curiously, PR-148 was the more soluble roast, though its roast parameters would suggest that PR-149 would have higher solubility due to its longer development time.
In the future, we should like to examine the relationship between roast development time and solubility more thoroughly. Is there an interaction between growing or processing practices and solubility? Can we predict how soluble a coffee will be, either through its green characteristics or through its roast parameters? As we gather more data, we come closer to a full understanding of these variables. As always, the deeper you dig in coffee, the more there is to understand.