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Please Note This coffee landed more than 8 months ago.
Out of stock
This is a traditional wet hulled coffee from Bolokan Valley in Tana Toraja region, on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia produced by farmers organized around Rantekarua Estate managed by PT Sulotco Jaya Abadi. It is certified organic.
The flavor profile is clean and herbal, with notes of rosemary, honeydew melon, grapefruit, and brown sugar.
Our roasters found the coffee manageable with a bit of finesse. Don’t be afraid to take it a little slow for best results.
When brewed, our baristas found their best results in pour-overs using the conical V60, and we’ll be profiling a dark roast for batch brew service at The Crown.
Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman
Have you been waiting for a refined and supremely clean wet hulled coffee to return to the Crown Jewel menu? Well, the wait is over.
Thanks to careful processing by Sulotco and patient sourcing by Evan Gilman, we have a delightful coffee with a wide range of flavor potential which tracks squarely at the center of a Venn diagram between cleanliness and giling basah.
Look for gentle but evident herbal notes like rosemary, green tea, and pine, a touch of cedar, with surprising sweetness from honeydew melon and brown sugar notes. And the acidity? Bright and balanced, with nuances of grapefruit, hints of dried berry, and a bit of kiwi and mango and guava.
Source Analysis by Evan Gilman
When the Dutch first brought coffee to Indonesia it was cultivated on large estates that would later become government owned after independence. The estate that occupied this land previously was built before 1928 by a certain H.J. Stock Van Dykk, and abandoned sometime during the advent of Indonesian independence (1945-1949). The Rantekarua Estate, located in the Bittuang district of Tana Toraja Regency, South Sulawesi province on the island of Sulawesi, remained mostly abandoned until Samuel Karundeng, the current Director at the mill, found the old Dutch house and coffee trees at the site in 1986. Subsequently, the government gave cultivation rights to PT Sulotco Jaya Abadi in 1987.
Since that time, the 3000-acre estate has undergone substantial renovation and become a beacon of innovation particularly in matters of land conservation. More than 500 acres have been converted into natural forest and coffee cultivation is managed with organic inputs. Manure from more than 2000 sheep grazing on the estate, and provided to local smallholders, is used as a major source of organic fertilizer. Further, Sulotco has become the site of testing for various coffee variety trials, where standout cultivars will be chosen for introduction around the estate, and provided to local farmers through their nursery system. What was previously overgrown and abandoned is now one of the region’s most notable coffee production facilities.
Contrary to popular belief, the original processing method for coffee throughout Indonesia, including Sulawesi, was the fully washed processing introduced by the Dutch. This makes wet hulling a uniquely Indonesian process.
During the harvest, cherries are picked and transported to the Sulotco processing facility in the Bolokan valley. There, the cherries are depulped and fermented for 24 hours and then washed and fermented again for another 12 hours. After the fermentation process, the coffee is moved to covered, raised beds and dried to 20 percent moisture over a period of 5 to 7 days. At this stage, the coffee takes a detour from the conventional path of processing in other origins, wherein, the coffee’s parchment is removed while the seed still has a high moisture content. This wet-hulling process, called Giling Basah in the Indonesian language, leaves the seed exposed while drying to 11 percent, a moisture percentage acceptable for export. This Indonesian processing method gives the bean its unique bluish color and the hallmark herbal profile. At Sulotco, all drying is done on raised beds with covers, ensuring consistent and reliable drying practices.
With Indonesian coffees, half the battle is overcoming logistical challenges like rugged roads and unpredictable torrents of rain. The integrated process from the estate to export, especially for a wet hulled coffee like this one, provides a tremendous advantage in managing quality and traceability. Sulotco’s management team is also to be credited for running a tight ship and moving coffee through what can be an incredibly demanding supply chain. In particular, Pak Immanuel for Production, Pak Darlan and Agnes Briliana for Quality Control, and Yenny Tanri for Export Management, should all be recognized for their efforts!
These efforts have paid off, as well; Sulotco placed #12 in the Inaugural Indonesia Cup of Excellence 2021 with their washed coffee. We are looking forward to seeing Sulotco rise to even greater heights in the coming years.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
Wet hulled coffees, when well-prepared, should look just like this. There are some slight hints of the processing – the occasional curled edge of a bean – but none of the darkened jade-like hues of poorly dried batches or whitish splotches indicating moisture reabsorption.
The screen size is on the slightly large size, but a little more spread-out than the common AA or AB designations we sometimes see from Sulawesi. The density is quite high, remarkable for this style of processing, and the moisture is low and stable.
The green is a fun mix of classic Indonesian cultivars. There is of course some Catimor – the baseline crosspollination of Caturra and Timor Hybrid (arabica/robusta) bred for disease resistance. There’s also a bit of legacy Typica here, genetic stock descended from the very first coffee brought to the Pacific. And lastly the oddball S-795, also known as Jember, which is Indian-developed disease resistant hybrid which incorporates some genetic material from a spontaneous liberica-arabica hybrid.
Keep an eye on our roasters notes, this green is likely to take a little bit of finesse, but I promise it’s well worth it.
Diedrich IR-5 Analysis roasted by Doris Garrido and written by Chris Kornman
Doris took this Wet Hulled coffee through the paces this week on our Diedrich IR-5 and is debuting here her new airflow profile for the first time as a Crown Jewel analysis.
Running into some recent struggles attempting to extend Maillard and spending a ton of time in the drying phase, she consulted Evan, who suggested she open the airflow a bit early on. In the Diedrich, so long as the burners are running above minimum, this has a two-pronged effect. First, it feeds a little extra oxygen to the flame, making it more efficient at heating the drum. Second, early in the roast, it aids the evacuation of moisture and steam from the drum as coffee begins to shed its water content.
Following the turning point, Doris closed the airflow briefly before color change, and reopened it again anticipating first crack. It’s a delicate dance of balancing burner power with airspeed through the drum, and in this instance navigated with precision and skill.
A nuanced roast with exceptional results, this coffee was on the light side at 51.68 ground ColorTrack but impressed us all with its complexity and balance and complete lack of underdeveloped notes. Myriad herbal notes accompanied dried-fruit sweetness with hints of cardamom and cinnamon.
Give this coffee a little bit of an early soak before hitting it with heat (not too much, or for too long), and let it develop gently for best results.
Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman
Unless otherwise noted, we use both the roast.world site and Artisan software to document our roasts on the Bullet. You can find our roast documentation below, by searching on roast.world, or by clicking on the Artisan links below.
Generally, we have good results starting our 500g roasts with 428F preheating, P6 power, F2 fan, and d6 drum speed. Take a look at our roast profiles below, as they are constantly changing!
Roasting and drinking this coffee is the culmination of nearly 8 years of my work in the coffee industry. My first visit to Sulotco was in 2014 on an independent trip, where I saw their plans for beginning to process natural coffee. Their coffee was phenomenal even at that time, but alas, we were too late and it was already pre-sold. My next visit was with the Consulate General of Indonesia in San Francisco in 2019, just before the pandemic. We were able to visit a few different production areas in Sulawesi, and Sulotco impressed again. After getting samples of their coffee over the previous four years of working with Royal, I was still absolutely convinced that our customers would love this coffee. We got the coffee, it made it through the supply chain madness of 2021, and now it’s here in my cup, its light and easy flavors not showing a trace of the heavy history behind its journey!
I knew going into this roast that this coffee is not a standard wet hulled selection. Lower moisture content and water activity than the standard giling basah meant that I would need to try a different approach. I have been using successively more aggressive roasting techniques on the Bullet, and I felt like this dense and dry coffee could handle some serious heat early in the roast. I started off with 428F, P6 Power, F2 Fan, and d6 Drum Speed.
At turning point, I immediately increased power to P8 and dropped fan speed to F1, only ramping up to F3 just after yellowing (around 340F). I decreased power to P7, anticipating a rise in RoR just before first crack, which definitely happened. In fact, my adjustment to power here didn’t have too much of an effect, and I increased fan speed to F4 just before first crack, and F5 just after. I also reduced heat to P5 at first crack, but rate of rise kept chugging right along at a fast pace – something I should have expected from a dry and dense coffee like this one! My drop temp was higher than usual at 407F, and I only got 12% post-crack development.. But certainly not all was lost here. Word to the wise: if you hit this coffee with a lot of heat at the start of roast, expect it to keep on the same trajectory later in roast, and adjust heat application down in a similarly drastic fashion. Better yet, try the even-handed approach like Doris did on the Diedrich for a nice, mellow cup. But beware – the Bullet doesn’t have the same abilities of heat retention as the Diedrich, with its eminently thick barrel. Your ‘soak’ tactic mileage may vary with the Bullet.
After tasting this coffee, I may suggest spending a little more time in drying phase than I did here. All of the expected flavors were here: cedar, vanilla, sage, and guava. There was the addition of a little wheaty crackeriness that I believe was the result of my heavy-handed approach, but that didn’t stop me from drinking the whole cup kopi tubruk style off the cupping table – but without the sugar, because this coffee doesn’t need it! This is a wet hulled coffee for both skeptics and lovers. Chug with confidence!
You can find my profile for this coffee here, on roast.world: https://roast.world/@egilman/roasts/8CN4xpWT7d_676U2DEIJT
Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Chris Kornman
Of our current Ikawa profiles in roasting rotation we felt that the standard and Maillard +30 roasts were the best on the cupping table this week.
Our boilerplate hot and fast sample roast lent a clean forest floor and fresh sage character to an otherwise light and bright tasting coffee with hints of lemon acidy, spices, and milk chocolate. It was a little on the thin side in terms of viscosity.
The slight extension to the Mailard stage of roasting on our second profile emerged on the cupping table with tons of fresh herbal flavors, including cannabis, hops, and rosemary. The spice notes reminded us of nutmeg and a hint of freshly cut cedar, while the acidity seemed to lean more green apple than lemon.
Slower roasts and lower airflow profiles, often favored by wet hulled style coffees, on this particular green yielded muddled cups with strong peppercorn notes and bit of undesirable bitterness.
Brew Analysis by Colin Cahill
I was lucky enough to get to spend some time at the Sulotco’s iconic Rantekarua estate back in 2015, and I was especially excited to see some of their offerings arrive in our Tasting Room and labs. Their coffees have been favorites of some of the finest Indonesian roasters, and a few of my most memorable cups ever have been made with their beans. This batch of wet-hulled beans gives a lovely introduction to an incredible Indonesian origin and a classic Indonesian processing method.
We brewed them up a bunch of times on a Hario V60, a Kalita Wave, and a Bee House brewer. Our brews from the Wave were a bit soft and underwhelming, but we received some bold and tasty brews from the V60 and Bee House brewers. The brews from the Bee House were similar in flavor profile to the V60 brews, though they had a softer acidity and a little more body to them. For this analysis, I want to focus more on some of the nuanced flavors that came with playing with the grind size for V60 brews.
Starting with a tighter grind setting (an 8 on our EK43S), pouring a bloom dose of 50 grams of water, and then two pulses of 150 grams and 100 grams of water, we received a brew in 3:10 with a TDS of 1.35 and an extraction percentage of 20.6. This brew featured one of the classic wet hull flavor notes: pine. Behind the fragrant cedar quality, we tasted some softer fruit notes including honeydew and pear, as well as sugary notes of Jordan almonds and a mellow hint of green tea. Coarsening the grind to a 9 on our EK43S, using the same brew recipe, we received a brew with more complex hints of juniper berry and a brighter acidity reminiscent of grapefruit peel and kumquats. The cedar notes remained dominant throughout our brews, reminding us of some of our favorite wet-hulled lots from North Sumatra and Aceh, in particular. The acidity and sweetness of this coffee really shined on our cone brewers, and I hope we get a chance to feature it on our pour over bar or as a batch brew.