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 facility, a joint Japanese and Indonesian coffee venture established in 1976 by Key Coffee. PT Toarco Jaya 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
No coffee is an island – though many islands grow coffee. Asian-Pacific grown coffees in particular have reputations for peculiar processing and mixed grades and varieties. In that sense, this sparkly clean Toarco Jaya is an island unto itself – here you’ll find a fully washed coffee in the tradition of Central American coffees, precision size grading, and a single Typica variant.
Relatively well distributed throughout Indonesia are the S-type (“S” stands for “selection”) varieties originally developed in India. Often denoted in regionally as “Linie S,” this designation most frequently refers to S-795, aka Jember, a Typica variant that contains some genetic markers from Arabica’s oddball cousin, Coffea Liberica.
Ikawa Analysis by Jen Apodaca
The Ikawa roaster is perfect for profiling coffees. The flexibility of the software lets the operator dictate exactly the type of profile they wish to execute. Because the Ikawa is an air roaster, first crack temperatures will be in the range of 398-402°F, which is much higher than the average drum roaster and the Probatino. I created four different roast profiles to get a better idea of the range of flavors that this coffee has to offer. They ranged from different end temperatures, post crack development times, and total roast times. I kept the fan speed profile and the cooling time the same on all four roasts.
This particular coffee with its large screen size did best with Ikawa Roast (3). Like most high water activity coffees, first crack happened rather late, which decreased the amount of post crack development time than I had planned. This ended up working in my favor because this very large screen size needed the extended Maillard time for more internal development. While Roast (3) may not have the longest time in minutes of Maillard time, it has the highest percentage (52.1%) compared to the other roasts. This enabled us to eliminate some of the stronger vegetal notes that we tasted in the other roasts and keep a crisp and clean acidity that is a hallmark of this coffee. The roasts with longer post crack development times tended to taste more bitter and have notes of dark chocolate and dry distillate flavors.
Roast Analysis by Jen Apodaca
Now that we chose a preferred roast and flavor profile, it was time to translate the ikawa to the Probatino. There are several strategies that I could have applied, but since this is my first attempt, I decided to try and apply the same roasting stages ratios. This would allow me to increase the length of the roast on a larger machine and with a larger batch size. I was aiming for an 8:30 minute roast and calculated the times that I would need the Maillard stage to begin and when I would like first crack to happen. Of course, the coffee itself plays a large part and I knew that I would need to make some on the fly calculations during the roast.
Translating Roast (3) from the Ikawa profiles proved to be a touch difficult. I was not able to extend the Mailllard stage as long as I wanted and in turn extended the post crack development time instead. I had expected first crack to happen late in the roast as it did in the Ikawa, but the coffee began first crack almost ten degrees earlier than I had expected. Just before first crack, I slightly increased the heat using my very low rate of change as an indicator of potentially losing momentum in the roast and stalling. The Probatino was quick to respond and that adjustment is what threw me off course.
Profile matching aside, both roasts tasted nice and had similar acidity, but the Probatino profile lacked the dense sweetness that was so prized in the Ikawa roast.
Behmor Analysis by Evan Gilman
Unless otherwise noted, I follow a set standard of operations for all my Behmor roasts. Generally, I’ll use the 1lb setting, manual mode (P5), full power, and high drum speed until crack. Read my original post and stats here.
Another coffee that hits me right in the feels is coffee sourced from PT Toarco Jaya. In my travels, I was fortunate to visit their production facility in Pedamaran after being introduced to one of their founders, H. Jabir Amien. He showed me around their facility, and we had a cupping of some of the coffees they used to build their A, AA, and PB lots for that year. You can read my article on some of my origin visits on Sprudge.
In any case, tasting this coffee brings all of that experience back, and then some. This is a famous Indonesian coffee, and for good reason: it is perhaps the cleanest, most defect-free Indonesian coffee reliably available. This year’s crop is also super tasty, and very fresh as of this writing!
These gigantic beans take a little extra push in the roaster. This was my longest roast of the week, most likely due to its XXL screen size. This is in stark comparison to the Colombia Caicedonia Las Margaritas Natural Mokka that was another coffee on this week’s Crown Analysis docket. Much to my surprise, achieved the same ColorTrack number.
Regardless, these two coffees were completely different. The Sulawesi was full of bright flavors like tamarind, citrus, and strawberry jam. Not a common Indonesian coffee, and one to remember.
Brew Analysis by Sandra Elisa Loofbourow
It’s so fun get a coffee that tastes like cuisine of its country of origin. This Sulawesi is a perfect example of that: on the table it presented notes of turmeric, coriander, and cilantro. As it extracted it developed a faint meatiness that reminded me of a heavy ginger chicken broth. As strange as this might seem, these came together with vibrant blood orange acidity and cashew sweetness to create a clean and complex but very drinkable coffee.
After experimenting successfully with full immersion brews with our last Indonesian coffee, the Sumatra Bener Meriah, I wanted to continue the trend. Although these coffees are often grown at lower altitudes and require softer heat in the roasting process, they really open up with aggressive brewing at long ratios.
This time I tried the Clever Brewer, which allows for a full immersion brew as well as a filter, but no vacuum pressure like the Aeropress. As per usual, I let the coffee bloom with double the amount of water as the coffee dose (40g of water for this 18g dose) for 30 seconds. Then it got tricky. I originally did two simultaneous brews, but didn’t account for this very different brew style and the timing that comes with it.
After the 30 second bloom, I added the entire remaining water dose to my first brewer– about 250g of water. Pouring through the delicate and precise Stagg kettle, this process took almost a full minute. This meant that the second brew was waiting, still in the bloom for way longer than I intended!
I re-brewed this batch because the difference in timing and technique was simply too big. That said, the brews didn’t end up having radically different times or extractions, despite the enormous difference in brew style. In fact, the prolonged bloom created some really fun jammy strawberry, tangerine and tamarind notes that weren’t as present in the second, more “correct” brew. It might be that the Clever dripper benefits from a longer bloom period, but that’s an experiment for another day.
What we know for sure is that this coffee is tons of fun. Full of bright fruit notes like pear, starfruit, and tangerine with a great balance of cocoa and herby notes and an incredibly silky body, this coffee is yet another unique and delicious offering.
This coffee may be available in full size bags as well. Contact Us to find out more.