Introduction by Evan Gilman
This coffee is sourced from the Tana Toraja region of Northern Toraja, on the island of Sulawesi, in Indonesia. The coffee is processed at the PT Toarco Jaya Estate, a joint Japanese and Indonesian coffee venture established in 1976 by Key Coffee. PT Toarco Jaya Estate is one of just a handful of Indonesian producers that utilizes a fully-washed process. PT Toarco Jaya also has a long history of contributing to the region’s economic development and social improvement programs by building roads, schools, and processing stations. This is one of our most consistently high scored and delicious coffees from Indonesia. PT Toarco Jaya sources coffee from the mountains that surround a large bowl-shaped central valley with the city of Rantepao at its center.
The typical path for the coffee in this region is to be sold by volume at a regional market and resold by weight (or sometimes by volume again) at the giant Pasar Bolu market in Rantepao. This confers benefit to each person in the supply chain, but doesn’t usually add too much value. Some resellers perform a cursory hand selection of defects, but this isn’t always as thorough as specialty coffee lovers would prefer.
Toarco Jaya circumvents this process not only by growing coffee on their own Pedamaran Plantation which surrounds their processing facility, but also by sourcing coffee from trusted producers throughout the region and subjecting the offerings to strict quality control. While most of their coffee comes from these surrounding farms, their quality control is so stringent that they have made a name for themselves in specialty coffee by upholding these standards over the course of more than 40 years.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
This peaberry lot, the companion to a flat bean Crown Jewel from Toarco Jaya, makes up for its smaller size with slightly elevated density and a tick lower moisture numbers. It’s also tightly distributed – about half of the lot screens at 15, with the other half evenly falling into screens 14 and 16.
The peaberry (referred to as caracol in Latin America) is generally recognized to be a developmental anomaly that results in the presence of a single seed inside the cherry, rather than two. Our affection for the funny round little seeds might simply be visual appeal – they’re adorable and often pleasantly uniform both before and after roasting. It’s possible, but generally disputed, that peaberries may have more concentrated flavor. They most definitely present challenges in drying and roasting, as their shape, size, and density don’t absorb heat in the same manner as a flat bean.
Roast Analysis by Jen Apodaca
Peaberries can be tough to crack and they are all different. My familiarity with this coffee tells me that it needs time in the drum to develop those nice molasses and brown sugar notes that accompany the vibrant lime acidity. I decided to roast to two different end temperatures for comparison. PR-413 had a lower end temperature 412.9 °F, compared to our second roast PR-414 with an end temperature of 419.4 °F. Comparing them on the cupping table, PR-413 had more acidity, plum and apple accompanied by savory qualities that are typical of Indonesian coffees like cedar and sage. PR-414 had less acidity with more developed sugar browning notes like vanilla and dark chocolate with some bitter florals like rose and lavender. This is a sweet and full bodied coffee that would make a lovely single origin espresso.
Brew Analysis by Chris Kornman
This peaberry lot proved to be a little divisive on the cupping table and in the brew basket. It seems to ride a fine line between the kinds of flavors associated with clean washed coffees like citrus fruits and caramel candy and the flavors more commonly associated with Indonesian coffees like herbal notes and deep-toned earthiness. Not really falling completely one way or the other in either camp, we had some mixed opinions about how this coffee presented itself. That being said, we all agreed universally on a preference when I tossed coffee into our Chemex brewers. The coffee is clean, sweet, and has a lot of unique flavors to offer for the adventurous.
We found Jen’s first roast, PR-413 to be more enjoyable when brewed, noting burnt sage, cocoa powder, dry rosé wine, golden delicious apple, and a raw sugarcane-like sweetness that emerged as it cooled. Interestingly, PR-414 was our preference on the cupping table where we noted flavors of honeydew melon, fig, and cacao, but the batch over-extracted in my Chemex brew… for reasons I’m not entirely able to explain. It offered some interesting cedar and chicory and molasses flavors, but was not our preference… though that doesn’t necessarily mean that when dialed in the coffee wouldn’t be delicious.
This coffee is available in full size bags as well. Contact Us to find out more.