THIS COFFEE HAS SOLD OUT. Suku Batak has leathery sweetness, a sweet/savor mix, with herbaceaus top notes like basil and chicory, and complex bittersweet chocolate flavors. City+ to Vienna. Good for espresso or blending.
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"Suku Batak" comes from the growing region of Lintong in Northern Sumatra near the shores of Lake Toba. Lintong coffees are from Sumatra, the island that is politically and geographically part of Indonesia. Lintong Nihota is the town that has become synonymous with the entire southern part of Lake Toba area. Lake Toba defines the landscape of the area, the largest volcanic crater lake in the world, and the result of the largest volcanic event on earth in the last 25 million years! It is huge, and the coffees from the north and eastern shores are quite different from the Lintong coffees. Lintong coffees are farmed by the Batak peoples that are the indigenous tribe that works the coffee in this area. This coffee is part of a somewhat unlikely joint venture between a Costa Rican farmer and an Indonesian coffee exporter. Together, they see to it that the coffee is carefully selected and separated by quality, then triple hand-picked during the milling process. The result is a visibly superior overall sort, and a surprisingly clean Lintong cup. This is a large-bean sort too, 18+ screen size. It might go against common sense, but I find Sumatras like this more complex in the lighter roasts than in the usual darker roasts they receive. The main reason is that many commercial roasters use color and surface texture as indicators of roast level. They roast coffee until the bean looks attractive. With a Sumatra like this, you will mostly likely hit 2nd crack at the point where the surface texture and variegated bean color evens out, and (I think) you may have gone too far at that point. It's also worth noting that while sorted to "grade 1" by Sumatran standards, you should expect bug holes, broken beans, and general discoloration. If you're a Sumatra coffee regular, you already know this. If you aren't, it might help to read Tom's article "Why You Should Know About Giling Basah" to understand the unique process methods employed in Sumatra.
The dry fragrance has a leathery sweet and savory blend, like the musky sweetness that you smell in a leather goods store. The wet aroma of Full City roasts have foresty appeal, with bittersweet cacao nibs as well. The sweetness found in the cup is rustic and earth-toned, what we expect from Sumatran coffees. And what we hope for is cup cleanliness relative to the region, inky body, bold bittersweetness, as well as a fairly consist coffee from one cup to the next. Suku Batak exceeeds these expectiations, adding in herbaceaus top notes peaking out as the cup cools. Nots of fresh basil, and chicory root are heightened as the cup cools, and Full City and beyond roasting builds incredibly rich bittersweet cocoa flavors. Complex brew, that will also make a great addition to a blend, or complex espresso shot on it's own. Be patient and wait a couple days before brewing. The earthy and sweet flavors settle in nicely after the roasted coffee's off gassed for at least 24 hours.