Tag: Sumatra

Mikerphone Brewing // Imperial Smells Like Bean Spirit Batch #4

Mikerphone Brewing // Imperial Smells Like Bean Spirit Batch #4

Smells Like Bean Spirit was a great success for the folks at Mikerphone Brewing, so they’ve followed it up with Imperial Smells Like Bean Spirit—a much heavier, boozier variant of the original. Is it also tastier? Well, we’re going to find out today! Imperial Smells […]

Seeds Coffee Company // Sumatra Kerinci

Seeds Coffee Company // Sumatra Kerinci

Volcanic Mount Kerinci provides a lush home to our latest single origin—Sumatra Kerinci. Surrounding the mountain is the Kerinci Valley which is known as the “rice bowl” of central Sumatra. A majority of the 300,000 people that reside there rely on agriculture to provide for […]

Kaldi’s Coffee // Sumatra Tano Batak

Kaldi’s Coffee // Sumatra Tano Batak

Kaldi's Sumatra Tano Batak
click image to purchase

This is the 3rd year we have brought in coffee from this cooperative in Sumatra. Sumatran coffees are known for their heavy, unique flavors. The best coffees from Sumatra are processed in their traditional style, called wet hulled.

Wet hulling is when the coffee is picked at peak ripeness and depulped, removing the fruit from the bean, leaving in parchment. The wet parchment “Gabah” is dried for about 1 day to about 30% moisture then wet hulled and dried under greenhouse solar dryers. The “Asalan,” dried green coffee, is dried to 13% and then put on density sorting tables and cleaned. Wet-hulling is a very unique way to process coffee and almost exclusively done in Sumatra. It’s also what gives Sumatran coffees their unique appearance and character in the cup.

Tano Batak is a premium mark from the Klasik Beans Cooperative, with which Olam Specialty Coffee works directly. This coffee comes from the Lintong area around the south-eastern end of the famous Lake Toba. The cooperative has well established relationships with the local farmers and takes pride in sourcing the finest coffees for their premium marks. Klasik Bean is committed to social and environmental sustainability. Farmers are rewarded well for quality and all cooperative employees receive full benefits.*

Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Sumatra Tano Batak, from Kaldi’s Coffee in St. Louis, Missouri. Feel free to pull up a chair.

THE BASICS:

region: Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia
farm: N/A
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Klasik Beans Cooperative
elevation: 1400 meters above sea level
varieties: Ateng, Bergendal, Jember, Typica
process: wet-hulled, patio dried
certifications: standard

THE COFFEE:

Ooo-wee! The aroma of this Sumatra Tano Batak is… something else. It’s definitely not what I was expecting, because of the fact that it was roasted by Kaldi’s. It definitely has that Sumatran coffee thing going for it—musty, pungent, earthy, spicy—and those notes are accentuated by the roast profile Kaldi’s put on it—roasty, ashy, smoky. How disappointing.

The flavor profile definitely follows the nose, which is unfortunate; I was hoping that the roastiness in the aroma was just an aberration. Mind, this coffee isn’t roasted into oblivion, but carbon and smoke are definitely the dominant notes in this profile. I’m tasting a lot of those standard Tano Batak features—tobacco leaves, cedar, must, earth, spice—but the roast overtakes them.

As the cup cools, the roastiness follows suit. It backs off, allowing some fruit flavors to come forward, cracking through the earthy crust just a bit. Cantaloupe, red grape, black cherry, and grapefruit acidity round out the finish, but the flavors are way too mild to be enjoyable.

Full body; syrupy mouthfeel; citric acidity; dry finish.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Like I mentioned in the cupping notes, I was really disappointed in this cup from the very start. Immediately, I knew it was overdone in the roaster. I can’t say I was surprised by the lack of quality in the cup considering it was a Sumatran coffee; I was very surprised, though, that this Sumatra Tano Batak was roasted by Kaldi’s Coffee—one of the best roasters in the Midwest!

I’ve had the Tano Batak many times in the past, and I’ve tasted its potential; if anybody could have fully realized this coffee’s potential, it’s Kaldi’s. So this was a real missed opportunity.

*content provided by Kaldi’s Coffee

What were your thoughts of this one? Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome! Feel free to enter a comment below. Also remember to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Hello My Name Is Joe // 3 Sheeps Brewing & Colectivo Coffee

Hello My Name Is Joe // 3 Sheeps Brewing & Colectivo Coffee

Coffee-infused stouts are fairly common in the craft beer industry, especially in imperial stouts. 3 Sheeps Brewing has produced a new variation on the style with Hello, My Name Is Joe—an imperial black wheat ale infused with coffee. This beer was first introduced by 3 Sheeps in […]

Higher Grounds Trading Company // Revel Holiday Blend

Higher Grounds Trading Company // Revel Holiday Blend

Ethiopia Sidama SFCFU (60%) Today’s coffee was grown and harvested by smallholder farmers who belong to the Abela Galuko Cooperative, which falls under the Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (SCFCU). Located in the Sidama region of southern Ethiopia, SCFCU began representing small-scale farmers in 2001 and has […]