Intro by Evan Gilman
The Ketiara Cooperative has become synonymous with clean and well-selected wet hulled coffee in the past decade. Founded in 2009, this cooperative is run mostly by women, and their Chairwoman Rahmah is well known all across Indonesia as being one of the foremost pioneers and proponents of Aceh Gayo coffee.
The cooperative’s members hail from not only the Bebesen district (which also contains the city of Takengon), but also from districts in surrounding Aceh Tengah and Bener Meriah regencies. Ketiara has a unique cooperative structure in that it is a cooperative of collector-growers who organize to help each other pick, process, collect, and deliver coffee to the main mill outside Takengon. They also provide financing for members through their own credit union, use Fairtrade dividends to fund schools and hospitals, and have reinvested to build lodging onsite. Their website is very informative, and is kept up to date. You can even see an update from when John Cossette visited in 2015!
This is a classic Sumatran wet-hulled coffee. Usually depulping is performed first and the resulting coffee at 40-50% moisture is called Gabah (literally translated as something like ‘whole grain’. Gabah undergoes a brief drying period to reduce moisture to an ideal 25%, when it is called Labu. The coffee is then delivered to the mill, where the parchment is removed while still damp, and the coffee completes its drying as the raw green seed. The result before sorting is called Asalan which could translate as ‘originals’ or just ‘seeds.’
This particular wet-hulled coffee is triple-picked (the highest sorting grade), which means that the asalan has gone through manual defect removals three times after processing, on top of the usual run through density sorting and screen size.
The Adsenia lots from Ketiara pass their strictest QC parameters, and tend to be the best of the best. If you go to cup at Ketiara’s lab in Takengon, you will certainly be presented with one of these coffees. To me, this coffee has landed just the way I tasted it at origin: fresh, sweet, gracefully herbal, and gently tropical. There is rarely a better example of delicious wet-hulled coffee, in my not-so-humble opinion. Ketiara is the leader of the pack!
Green Analysis by Nate Lumpkin
This coffee from the Aceh region of Sumatra comes to us with somewhat below average density, about average moisture content, and somewhat below average water activity — an unexpected and welcome trait for a wet-hulled Indonesian selection. The coffee shows a wide spread of screen size between 16 and 20, though most of that falls into 18 and 19. The range of sizes could cause uneven roasts, so consider slowing down the roast during color change.
The cultivar Adsenia, commonly known as Java, is a selection of Ethiopian landraces, which were likely selected in 1928 by Dutch coffee research P.J.S. Cramer. In Indonesia, it is called Adsenia, or Abyssinia, which was the name of Ethiopia at the time. It shows resistance to leaf rust, and has been exported from Indonesia to Cameroon and Central America.
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.
Roasting from home this week, I daisy-chained enough power cords and surge protectors together to get an Ikawa set up on my porch overlooking Oakland’s Adams Point neighborhood. I put this Ketiara through the paces on my two standard sample roast profiles and cupped the results in isolation the following day.
This is a zesty coffee with a lot of verve. It’s got a surprising acidity at light roasts and a real cornucopia of juicy fruit flavors. The shorter of the two roasts was my preference, it followed a 50%/40%/10% ratio, about 40 seconds post crack development definitely on the short side but enough to bring out some light savory notes and tons of juicy acidity.
The second roast was a little odd, the coffee didn’t seem to really get going on first crack until quite late in the roast, but the beans and ground coffee were much darker than the first, a pretty dramatic difference given the relative similarity of the curves. The coffee was mellower, and showed off a little more of the herbal side, but with a distinct sweet cucumber and honeydew melon note that persisted from the fragrance through the finish, a pleasant surprise.
I think you’ll find the coffee highly malleable, but be sure to treat it gently early on with that low density and expect it to hit first crack at a little higher of a temp than average.
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
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.
It’s always a pleasure to roast a coffee from someone I know, especially true now in the social distancing era. Just because we’re socially distant doesn’t mean we have to be emotionally distant!
Anyhow, this coffee is a true gem, and an exceptional example of what Gayo has to offer. I wanted to give this coffee the typical treatment Sumatran coffees usually receive: roasting for body and sweetness, with a long lead up through Maillard into first crack.
I started with full power and high drum speed, and kept it there until about 9:55, when I reduced power to 75% using the P4 button. First crack happened about a minute later at 10:45, I opened the door for 10 seconds at 11:30 to abate some smoke, and stopped the roast at 12:15.
The resulting roast had a roast loss percentage of 14.3% – a number that seems a bit high coming from my Quest M3s roasts, but is close to my usual on the Behmor. I also feel like a heftier roast loss on a coffee like this is entirely appropriate.
On my counter (the cupping table), this coffee definitely had a note of cherry wood smoke when hot. That dissipated quite a bit as the coffee cooled, and chocolate hard candy, cedar, and prune came through very nicely. There was even a touch of lime zest flavor present.
I’m going to brew this coffee on my Chemex, but I have a feeling it would work stupendously well as a full-immersion coffee like french press, or even metal filter like Moka pot. This will make a very hearty cup of coffee. If you’re the type who loves cream and sugar, this coffee at a dark roast is for you. If you like black coffee, take it just a touch lighter (maybe 1:00 post crack development) and you’ll get some very fun herbal and gentle tropical fruit notes!
Probatino Analysis by Candice Madison
Well, this was a funny old coffee to roast, but a truly delicious one to drink. Coffees like this amuse me – just when I think I’ve got this roasting thing all sewn up, along comes a coffee, and a roast, that makes me scratch my head a little.
This coffee from The Ketiara Cooperative is carefully produced and meticulously sorted, as reported by Evan in his comprehensive introduction. There is an average moisture level and low aW reading, unusual but welcome, particularly because the traditional processing method used for the origin, giling basah or wet-hulled, results in, not only a softer bean but can also lead to uneven drying, which doesn’t seem to be a problem in this case. The usual wide-spread of screen sizes, coupled with this drying method, can lead to a tricky roast, and this coffee was no different.
Although the coffee showed an average moisture content, I wanted to hit the batch with a blast of heat during the drying phase to mitigate any issues of uneven roasting in the individual beans, as well as in the batch as a whole. For this reason, apart from starting at a high gas (2), I also started the coffee at a slightly higher charge temperature, 365 F, instead of my usual 360 F.
At the turning point, as I was going for sweetness and balance, over any particular fruit or acidic notes, I decided to turn the gas down (2.5) and turn it up at the color change. This was due to the fact that I had roasted a batch previous so this one using my usual template of a low heat soak at the beginning and turning the heat up before stepping down. It resulted in an extended, baked roast that lacked complexity and nuance – qualities I knew to be in this cup.
The extra step of higher heat at the beginning of the roast, before stepping down, at the turn and then repeating that modulation once more during the course of the roast before stepping off the gas completely to end at the minimum (2) made for a much, much more delicious cup of coffee. It cracked late at 395 F, but, stepping off the gas allowed me to ride the S curve and eke out a decent 14% post-crack development ratio.
In the cup, the origin notes of fresh bamboo and lemongrass were accompanied by black tea and light caramel notes. Sweet notes of roasted capsicum were balanced by the soft, but lively, acidity of red grapefruit and yellow plum. A delicate and captivating afternoon pour over to rival any high tea – eat with cucumber sandwiches accordingly!
Brew Analysis by Evan Gilman
I decided to bust out the Chemex for this coffee, and leave behind my automatic home brewer for a few days. While I’m sure the Zojirushi EC-YTC100 would have done a fine job, there’s nothing like a manual brew now and again to really open up a coffee. But on second thought I drink enough coffee, so why not have it both ways?
For my Chemex brew, I used the same grind I normally do with the automatic brewer – 20 on the dial of the Baratza Virtuoso. I was thinking to go a bit coarser, but wanted to have as many controls in place as possible.
I followed my typical protocol for Chemex: bloom for 30 seconds with twice as much water by weight as I have ground coffee (I used 35g coffee here, so bloomed with 70g water). Then, I bring up the level of the slurry about midway up the wall of the Chemex (in this case, my first pour was to 225g). I wait for the initial pour to drain through almost all the way, then start my second pour up to the original line, pouring in an outwardly spiraling pattern (my second pour got me to 430g). I allow that pour to drain through a bit, then complete the dose of water up to the final weight (in this case, 525g).
This brew was hands down, away from face, more expressive than the cupping I performed. Bright cherry, aromatic cedar, the tartness of crunchy passion fruit seeds, and a lasting cocoa finish. While I certainly would recommend this coffee as a dark roast with cream and sugar, there is enough here to keep anyone interested in a straight cup of black coffee.
For the Zojirushi brewer, I generally grind at a 20 on the Barata Virtuoso, dose 50g of ground coffee into the filter basket, and use 800g of water. For this brew, I dosed a little higher after my experience with CJO1339, and went for a 1:14.5 ratio (55g). It took just a little longer to brew, as well (6:45). This coffee held up very well in the automatic brewer. A bit more floral and tart cherry notes came through, and I got a bit of vanilla on the finish as well.
This coffee is fantastic. I do say that with bias as a lover of Indonesian coffee, but I think you’ll find the same. Filter drip, automatic or pour over, will reward you sweetly with this coffee. Enjoy!