This is a raised-bed-dried natural coffee from Kerinci on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, produced by members of the ALKO cooperative.
The flavor profile is wine-like and fruit forward with notes of tart cherry, dried apricot, and fresh herbs and spices like clove and juniper.
Our roasters found the coffee to take heat quickly and prefer a gentler approach in the machine.
When brewed the coffee required a little dialing to show its full potential, and performed best in a conical pour-over with thicker filter paper and a slightly higher extraction time and percentage, and is delicious when brewed using a bypass.
Taste Analysis by Colin Cahill
This exciting natural coffee from Sumatra is part of growing wave of natural and honey processed coffees that are expanding how we think and talk about Sumatra as an origin. We find hints of the herbal flavors associated with Sumatran coffees, layered on rich chocolate notes, wine-like acidity, and pops of cherry, watermelon, cranberry, and citrus. This complex coffee is ideal for a thought-provoking drip offering. It could also be quite fun as an espresso that could be dialed in to highlight its crowd-pleasing chocolate notes or more-sophisticated herbaceous and fruity notes.
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 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 immaculate natural coffee dried on raised beds.
Dried under a canopy (since rainfall is frequent and unpredictable in this area of Sumatra), this coffee is a true rarity for Indonesia in general and Sumatra in particular. While coffee can certainly take longer to dry in these humid climes, this natural coffee exhibits the big clean fruit and intriguing floral notes of a coffee properly dried in the fruit.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
It’s always impressive to see coffee with such stable moisture figures coming in from Sumatra. This cherry-dried natural clocks in at a nice low and storage-friendly 10.3% moisture content and is accompanied by a stable and average water activity reading at room temperature. The batch has a wide spread of screen sizes but is primarily grouped (about 80%) in the 16-19 range, so we might say slightly above average in size. You should anticipate a few deft moves in the roaster to keep the roast color looking even as a result.
Altogether this is a great looking green with a little dark red silver skin attached, and a strong, pleasant fruit-dried fragrance. The cultivar, Andung Sari, is a relatively common Catimor selection frequently grown in Java and northern Sumatra, and is characterized primarily (at least, for roasters) by its oblong “longberry” seed shape and appearance.
Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Chris Kornman
Coffee like this – dried in the whole cherry, moderate in density, long in shape, and wide in screen size – present the roaster with some unique opportunities. All indications pointed towards a coffee that might take color a little unevenly and potentially try to race if given the opportunity in the machine.
I stabilized the Diedrich’s temperature at 380F, which is currently on the lower end of our usual charge temperatures, loaded the 5.5lb batch at our lowest gas setting of 30%, and allowed the coffee to reach its turning point before applying additional heat, turning up the dial to 70% and reducing the airflow baffle from its closed position to 50% through the drum. I held this position and when observable color change began, it was indeed a little uneven and the rate of rise a bit on the high end, so I held airflow at 50% to try and even out the development.
I probably should’ve reduced my burners to about 50% during the middle of Maillard reactions and drawn out the stage percentage a little higher. However, when I did reach first crack in about 8:30, I opened the airflow to mitigate smoke and dropped burners back to idle at 30%. Within just a few seconds I could tell the coffee was continuing to take heat quickly, and opted to cut the gas off completely and let the beans coast on the ambient momentum. You can see the exhaust temperature quickly dip well below the figures registered on the bean probe, but the RoR never plunged below zero, and the coffee continued to develop.
Watching the color, I discharged the batch at 1:20 after first crack at a relatively high temperature of 410F. I would’ve preferred to draw out post-crack development a little longer, but with the coffee’s heat delta nose diving and the high bean temperature reading, I pulled the plug a little earlier than intended.
Given the quick uptake in thermal absorption, I was pleased to see that despite the somewhat dark exterior color, the Colortrack returned a 56 for internal (ground) hue. This is about 2-3 points darker than our average drip roast, but on-par with most coffee we serve on bar as espresso. Delightfully, in the cup, the coffee showed little evidence of operator malfeasance, instead offering candied fruit sweetness with strong concord grape and watermelon notes and a lovely, unique herbal profile (I thought of marjoram and sweet basil).
I’d caution the roaster to treat the coffee gently throughout the development process and keep a close eye on your rate of heat application. A delicate touch will likely be the most rewarding for this unique offering from the Kerinci region.
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’m always excited to see these coffees from Kerinci coming into our queue, as they have been some of the most interesting and consistently delicious coffees coming from Sumatra in the past few years. This fruit-dried lot is no disappointment, either – and it was a dream to roast. Generally I’m a bit wary of the way a fruit-dried coffee will handle in the roaster, but with a solid plan and a consistent coffee like this one, I had an easy time.
Taking a look at the green specs, I decided a slightly lower charge temperature (384F), early airflow application, and gentle heat application were a must. Starting off with full amperage and airflow, then cutting airflow just before turning point, I went into this roast with a push. A few quick adjustments followed: reintroduction of airflow to 3 at 240F / 2:30, reduction of heat to 7.5A at 265F / 2:57, and full fan speed at 290F / 3:30. All this served to slow down the rate of rise coming into Maillard. From this point, I reduced heat further to 5A at 330F / 4:30, then gave a slight push just before first crack by resuming 7.5A heat application at 365F / 5:55, then returning to 5A at crack. Then, I let the coffee ride for 1:09 until 399F / 8:21 when I dropped the coffee into the cooling tray.
I know from experience that many Sumatran coffees need a little extra development to really bring out the complexity of flavor that I seek. My 13.8% of time spent in post-crack development really helped to make this coffee shine in the cup.
Brewing this coffee on the Chemex, I employed my usual tactics for Sumatran coffee: finer grind, slower pour, and about a 10% bypass (meaning I added water directly to the brewed coffee rather than pouring through the filter, equal to 10% of my volume of water at my chosen ratio of 1:16).
The result was huge grape jelly fruitiness, powdered sugar sweetness, and some very cookie-like notes. Chocolate chip and lemon wafer cookies in particular. As the coffee cooled, crisp apple acidity came through, with the confectioner’s sugar sweetness mellowing into a more molasses-heavy turbinado flavor. This is a phenomenal coffee for filter drip, but if you’re into the wild espresso now and then, I might even recommend it under pressure. Such a unique coffee deserves some experimentation!
Brew Analysis by Zainab Syed
This natural processed Crown Jewel from Sumatra was an exciting coffee for us to come across for brew analysis. I was curious to see what we would taste in a coffee that was naturally processed in the humid Sumatran climate. What I found was a wonderfully complex coffee; full of fruit notes – as expected of a natural coffee, but also displaying unique herbal qualities, as well as some bitter-sweet chocolate notes.
The leading brew of this coffee was on the SAI C70 brewer. I brewed this coffee on the C70 twice with identical specs, save the grind size. My first attempt made a decent cup, but the body was too thin for my liking, and it yielded a low TDS. I figured the coffee has more to give if it has a longer extraction time. For the second brew on the C70, a slight adjustment to the grind size setting made a significantly superior cup. The results were a higher TDS, a fuller body, and a sweet finish, highlighting the previously hidden dark chocolate and brown sugar notes.
Of the three different brew devices that we used for this coffee, my preference lies with the C70 because it gave us a clean cup. It brought forth the tart fruit flavors of lemon, cranberry, cherry, and a wine acidity with a complexity that does not overwhelm the palette. The Fellow Stagg brewer and the Bee House, however, made for brews that were a bit too sharp. The C70 brew had a juicy – even syrupy – mouthfeel, which was very enjoyable and made the big fruity notes even more outstanding.