Sumatra Mount Kerinci Parabolic Dried Honey Crown Jewel

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Intro 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 three amazing lots from them this year – a fully washed, this honey process, and an immaculate natural coffee dried on raised beds.

Honey process coffees are somewhat of a rarity in Indonesia, but alternative processing methods are gaining in popularity. Generally produced only in smaller quantities, these special preparations go mostly to the thriving domestic specialty coffee market in Indonesia, and rarely see export. Koperasi ALKO and CV Yudi Putra were able to produce enough of this outstanding lot to export, and now we can taste the sweet result of their hard work internationally. Look for deep brown sugar notes, and perhaps a touch of grape or violet upon cooling. This coffee will keep your palate entertained!

Green Analysis by Nate Lumpkin

This coffee from the Jambi region of Sumatra comes to us with density a little below average, about average moisture content, and below average water activity. Nearly a majority of the coffee falls into screen size 17 and 18, with most of the remainder falling into 16 and 19. This narrow screen size should make for more evenness in roasts, and the low water activity should help the green coffee quality sustain for a longer time in good storage conditions.

Andung Sari is a Catimor selection commonly grown in Java Sunda, Central Java, and Aceh. Reportedly, this variety shows more longberry characteristics than similar varieties. Catimors are rust resistant dwarf hybrid cultivars, a cross between Caturra and the Timor Hybrid, hence the name. Andung Sari has a reputation for good cup quality as well as disease resistance.

Ikawa Analysis by Chris Kornman

We’ve updated our V2 Ikawa Pro machines with the latest Firmware version (24) and run on “closed loop” setting. Our roasters underwent full service in October of 2018 which included replacement heating elements and an updated PT 1000 temperature sensor, and were recalibrated in September 2019.

An interesting and challenging coffee, like its companion lots, this Sumatra from the Kerinci regency took its sweet time getting to first crack. The honey processing has left a distinct dried fruit note in the coffee that persisted nicely in both roasts below.

The first roast, my 6-minute standard sample, only just started to pop right before the profile went into its cooling cycle. A hint of wheat in the fragrance let me know the roast was a little lighter than I’d hoped, but overall the cup was actually pretty nice, a bit of apricot and marmalade in the cup, quite clean and very sweet.

The second roast developed a little more normally, and I was surprised at how distinct the flavor profiles were. The fruits leaned tartaric, some nice black grape and a little raisin, the acidity remained bright and there was a hint of pungent cannabis in the aftertaste, which lingered and paired with a fairly drying sensation I’ll admit I wasn’t exactly enamored by.

I got around to a low airflow profile that draws out the roast to a total of 7 minutes and ends about 10 degrees cooler to compensate. After a few rounds of trials, I put the profile to the test on this Honey, against my original preferred roast plus two other failed low airflow profiles. In a blind cupping, I slightly preferred this slower, gentler roast profile and am happy to add a third sample roast profile to the canon.

You can download the profile to your Ikawa Pro app here:

Roast 1: Crown Standard SR 1.0
Roast 2: Crown Maillard +30 SR 1.0
Roast 3: Crown 7m SR Low AF

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. 

I for one am used to Sumatran coffees coming in with a very specific set of green metrics: high moisture content, high water activity, low density, and with a very large spread of screen sizes. While the screen sizes represented in this coffee are fairly disparate, I was pleased to find that moisture content and water activity were on the low end, and that density was a bit higher than the average Sumatran coffee.

Due to the cultivars grown in this area, there are quite a few ‘longberry’ type beans, which means that some will get stuck in the Behmor’s barrel perforations. Make sure to check between roasts for stuck beans! This coffee is also quite chaffy, so make sure to clean the roaster thoroughly after each roast. I even went so far as to clean the inside of the roaster with some denatured alcohol after my roasts of these Kerinci coffees, though I had done so not that long ago. Keep it clean!

For this roast, I followed my standard protocol of 100% heat application (P5) and high drum speed from the beginning of the roast. Since I wanted to draw out the Maillard portion of this roast, and get lots of sugar development, I engaged 75% power (P4) at 8:30, earlier than my roasts of the other two coffees from this origin released this week. This roast had good momentum, however, and I didn’t need to give any extra push with P5 like I did with the others. First crack commenced at 11:15, and I hit ‘COOL’ to finish the roast 1:15 later at 12:30. This was by far my most ‘well behaved’ roast of the three releasing this week!

I was honestly a bit miffed when I tasted this coffee on my countertop ‘cupping table.’ At first, I only got vague notes of cocoa, brown sugar, and some dry orange. But as this cup cooled, incredible grape and violet notes came out, with just a touch of fresh rye bread on the finish. And the sweetness was perhaps the most prominent feature; honey, cane sugar, and all types of chocolate really came through in this roast. Had I taken it a bit lighter, and perhaps a bit swifter, I think I would have tasted some of the notes Chris mentions above. I may try that for the next roast.

All in all, I’d say those with a sweet tooth would love this coffee even at a darker roast degree. Take a stab at roasting this delicious coffee, and you’ll likely come out with something you enjoy!

Roast Analysis by Candice Madison

What a delicious find! This honey-dried coffee from Mount Kerinci is as delicious as it is a relatively easy roast, hooray!

Popping my, now usual, 150gms into the hot roaster at 390 degrees F, I set the initial amperage to 5 and the fan speed to 0. At the turn, I raised the heat to 9 amps and the fan to maximum. I have found this initial profile to very much help larger and/or denser beans to make it up the initial climb into Stage 1.  Maillard started at around 295 for this coffee, and with the herald of Stage 2, I turned the heat down to 7 amps and cut the fan to 50% (5 on the dial).

At 360 degrees F, the RoC was cranking away at 19 degrees/30 seconds, too fast for this beast, especially since I realised that I was due for an earlier crack, I killed the fan completely,  and at 374 degrees F, I dropped the heat to 5 amps.

The coffee cracked, pretty uniformily, at 387 degrees F and I immediately turned the fan speed to 9 and the heating element to 2 amps. I ended the roast at 398 degrees F, which gave me a respectable 15.5% development ratio.

In the cup, I got kola nut, dried fruit sweetness, and caramel-sweetened bittersweet chocolate. This coffee is unexpectedly easy to roast – honey processed coffees can be particularly challenging, but not in this case – and cups extremely cleanly, articulate flavors, velvety smooth body and truly pleasing flavors that have a little something for everyone without polarizing anyone. Enjoy!

Brew Analysis by Evan Gilman

This week, I decided to rely on the Chemex and Aeropress for my home brewing practice. One of my favorite moments of traveling to Sumatra was the daily Aeropress routine I developed while staying with Lisa and Leo’s Organic Coffee outside Seribudolok, so there’s a certain nostalgia here for me even though these coffees are from 800km south in Jambi Province. That’s a 20 hour drive, by the way.

Anyhow, I decided to start strong at a 1:15 ratio. That turned out to be a very strong cup of coffee indeed! My roast loss percentage on these coffees hovered around 14%, so I surmise that the ratio of soluble material by weight might have been a bit higher. To that effect, I tried a 1:17 ratio on all of them as well.

For Chemex, I generally perform 3 pours of about 200g water in an outwardly-spiraling pattern. This results in a final brew time of about 4 minutes, and a flat bed of grounds, without much sticking to the sides of the filter.

The first brew of this coffee was sticky and sugary, and definitely a strong cup at 22.27% extraction. I dare say I didn’t get the clearest tasting notes from this particular pour other than a bit of brown sugar and grape, but it was certainly sweet and strong. Left a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth though, so I decided to mellow out a bit with a 1:17 ratio brew. This was much, much clearer with plum, milk chocolate, and pear notes. And it left my palate feeling clean and fresh, despite the slightly darker roast level! The sweetness in this coffee just keeps going, too – a sugar bomb, just as I like.

That Aeropress, though. A lot of folks pooh-pooh this method, but it came out super delicious – and nostalgic too. Using water at the minimum temperature acceptable for an SCA brew (195F), but still not low enough for the creator of the Aeropress (185F), I made an inverted-method brew at a 1:18 ratio. After my initial bloom, I stirred the slurry, added the remaining water, then inverted the brewer over my cup and performed a 1:15” press-through.

The result was a cup with punchy baked apple, brown sugar, and milky chocolate texture. On cooling, some clean citrus acidity came through, which was quite pleasing due to my roast being a bit heavy-handed. I would love to see this coffee on espresso specifically, but I think that this coffee performs well as a true filter drip.

What do you think? Taste through and let me know!