This is a washed coffee from Kerinci on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, produced by members of the Koetintji Barokah cooperative.
The flavor profile is clean and complex, with notes of dark chocolate, black peppercorn, and juicy apple, with many subtler herbal, fruit, and spice notes.
Our roasters found the coffee to be best when balanced between Maillard and Post Crack Development percentages.
When brewed the coffee presents more aromatic and floral complexity in a cone brewer, and more chocolate notes and more intense acidity on a flatbed brewer.
Taste Analysis by Colin Cahill
With subtle hints of herbal notes, we are reminded of this coffee’s origin. But for a coffee harvested and processed alongside humid jungle on the slopes of Mount Kerinci—the highest volcano in Indonesia—this one is wonderfully clean and fruity. After brewing it up in our tasting room, we found complex flavor profiles including rich chocolate notes, sweet, juicy grape and berry flavors, and hints of spice, herbs, and florality. This washed coffee just might change how you think about the taste of Sumatran coffees, and it is a testament to the work pushing forward processing efforts across the island’s growing regions.
Source Analysis by Evan Gilman
The area surrounding Mount Kerinci, and the small town of Kersik Tuo in particular, is known as a local jumping off point for ecotours for both domestic and international tourists in Indonesia. It wasn’t until relatively recently that this area has become well known for coffee production. Home to one of Southeast Asia’s largest populations of wild tigers and general feline biodiversity, the adjoining Kerinci Sablat National Park is the area’s largest draw.
These cats know how to grow coffee, too. The 140 members of the ALKO and Barokah cooperatives come together from the villages of Pelompek, Jernih Jaya, and Gunung Tujuh to learn about coffee production on a regular basis. Their coffee shrubs are intercropped with vegetables generally sold at the local market, a practice which enables the farmers to maintain a steady income throughout the year. CV Yudi Putra provides marketing and logistics for these cooperatives, and has brought us amazing lots from them again this year including this washed and dry hulled coffee.
Fully washed coffee isn’t the most common in Sumatra, and is sometimes simply called ‘dry hulled’ in contrast to the usual process used here, wet hulling. This requires a different set of machinery, and the relative expense may be part of why washed process isn’t as common here, alongside the usual reasons – namely that the supply chain is built around transferring the raw goods (and the associated risk) along to the next link as swiftly as possible. The results are atypical for the origin, and delicious.
We’ve had many requests for a fully washed, clean, and tasty Sumatran coffee. As perhaps our most vocal proponent of Indonesian coffee, I’m here to say your wait is over! Take a look below for a deeper exploration of how we handled this coffee.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
This is a really nicely washed and dry hulled example from Sumatra. The coffee is well polished, the green is clean and smells fresh, and the moisture figures point to exceptional drying practices. Along with a modest density reading, we are presented with a relatively large and unusually wide spread of screen sizes.
The uniquely Indonesian cultivars contributing to this green lot include Andung Sari and Sigarar Utang. Andung Sari is a Catimor selection, recognizable by its “longberry” seed shape.
Sigarar Utang, also a Catimor – supposedly a spontaneous cross of HdT and Bourbon – is a short-stature tree with exceptionally high yields and early lifespan productivity. The cultivar has earned a reputation and several nicknames. The “Sigarar Utang” moniker is a phrase that, in local dialect, indicates how quickly the farmer may repay their debt based on the early maturation and high yield of the plant. Sometimes it’s referred to as “Ateng,” the stage name of a well-loved and short-of-stature Indonesian comedian. Occasionally, we also see “Jaluk,” which is the name of the village where it was first introduced in the late 1980s.
Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Chris Kornman
It’s been a busy few weeks, and while I usually prefer to write my analysis immediately after roasting the coffee and cupping, this fun washed selection from Kerinci escaped my immediate attention. Looking back on my notes, I found myself questioning if I did really charge this coffee at only 370F? Revisiting my past self, I’d probably have recommended a higher starting point.
We can see that despite an immediate 70% burner power and a switch to 50% airflow at the turning point, the coffee lags in the early stages, not reaching color change until five minutes into the roast. At this point, I opened my airflow baffle fully, which counteracted my gas reduction a minute prior. Drawing Maillard reactions out slightly, first crack came predictably and I cut my gas to our lowest setting of 30%.
Having successfully avoided an uptick in the RoR (visible at the 8:45 mark in conjunction with first crack) the coffee was well behaved throughout color development and didn’t need further attention. I checked the color and discharged the beans at about 1:20 after first crack to an in-the-pocked Colortrack reading of 54 (internal/ground), on the nose for our standard drip roast.
As a result of the sluggish early development, the cup had a bit of a graham cracker flavor and was undeniably thick and creamy. However, distinct green apple and lime acidity were untamed and paired nicely with hints of spice (maybe peppercorn?), herbs (rosemary), and a roasted sweet pepper note that served as subtle reminders of the coffee’s provenance.
Without the density to buffer and then absorb heat, the coffee will likely perform well with a higher percentage of time in Maillard and should take nicely to darker roasting styles, especially considering how nicely it performed during post-crack development. Just try not to short-change yourself on the charge temp 😉.
Quest M3s Analysis by Evan Gilman
Unless otherwise noted, I follow a set standard of operations for all my Quest roasts. Generally, I’ll allow the machine to warm up for 15 minutes until my environmental temperature reading is at least 250F, weigh out 200g batch size, and begin roasting when I’ve reached my desired charge temperature. Read my initial post here and my updated post here.
I don’t always drink washed Sumatran coffees, but when I do… I try to drink this, the Most Interesting Coffee in the World. Certainly washed coffees are common in most of the rest of the world, but Sumatra is well renowned for its wet-hulled coffees, and for some time, it’s been difficult to find a consistent source of washed coffee from this Indonesian island.
Taking a look at the green specs, I noticed that this coffee was very well dried, with some middling water activity stats. I did note that the screen size distribution was rather large, so I knew this coffee would need a strong initial push. So that’s just what I did: starting with a medium-high charge temperature of 385F, 7.5A heat application, and high fan speed, I allowed this coffee to soak up the heat in the roaster, then increased heat application to 10A at 230F / 2:38. Taking down the delta a notch, I introduced fan speed to 3 at 300F / 5:00, and reduced heat to 7.5A at 325F / 6:00. Then, just before first crack at 370F / 8:00 I increased fan speed to full. Getting this coffee to slow down once it started up was difficult – I cut heat application at first crack, but was only able to get 1:00 of post-crack development at my final temperature of 402F. Not too light, not too dark, but I would have liked to spend more time proportionally in Maillard, to be forthright.
There was certainly nothing offensive in this cup, however. What a strong representation of Sumatra! This coffee retains many of the characteristics that people expect from a Sumatran coffee while being fully washed. The cup displayed flamboyant black cherry, sticky-sweet fig bar flavors, and a lime candy tartness in the finish. There are some very distinctive herbal notes here, too – bay leaf, ephedra, and other dry desert herbals came to mind. If you’re looking for a coffee that will keep you coming back for more and scouring your mind for fitting flavor notes, this is it.
Brew Analysis by Colin Cahill
We had a fun day brewing up this exciting, complex washed coffee from the eastern border of West Sumatra, comparing it with a natural coffee grown on neighboring farms ringing Kerinci Volcano. Having spent time working with coffee farmers from across Sumatra, I’m always curious to see how processing has improved and how results have evolved in recent years. It is no small feat to produce such a clean coffee at the edge of the humid rainforest on Kerinci, let alone just getting it to a port town, down mountainous roads prone to washing out. I wanted to play with this bean on the Saint Anthony Industries C70, with its deep cone and extra thick filters, to taste a light, super clean brew, and then to brew it up on something that would develop more body and complexity to see if its clean profile holds up, and to see which flavors might emerge.
The C70 yielded quite a complex brew. It was super sweet and juicy, with bright concord grape flavors reminiscent of grape jelly or grape candy. Those flavors were balanced with rich, dark chocolate notes, as well as notes of cinnamon, lilac, and toasted pecan. This brew had a syrupy, juicy mouthfeel, and offered hints of spice and florality, presenting lovely range of flavors.
Moving towards a flatbed brewing experience, we pulled out the Bee House brewer, a kind of cone-flatbed hybrid with two drain holes that unites some of the best qualities of the C70 and a true flatbed such as the Kalita Wave or the Fellow Stagg. On this brewer, following the same brew recipe, we had a shorter brew time that still yielded a greater extraction, as expected. This brew was intense, with blood orange acidity and tart raspberry notes. The flavor was rounded out with rich, dark chocolate and aromatic cardamom and vanilla notes. This brew verged into over-extraction territory, but continued to present a complex balance of acidity, sweetness, and spice, losing the florality of the previous brew. This is a coffee that seems to present more aromatic and floral complexity in a cone brewer, and a more chocolate notes and more intense acidity on a flatbed brewer. The spice notes remind us of this coffee’s origin without the earthiness that can be so common in Sumatran coffees, and the floral notes are such a lovely surprise!