Sulawesi Wet-Process Toarco Peaberry Feb 2010

Radically different wet-process Sulawesi, bright, dynamic, super-aromatic, floral, herbal, with piney resinous aroma and flavor hints. City+ roast is recommended, FC+ if you want tangy chocolate roast taste.
Out of stock
  • Process Method No
  • Farm Gate Yes
Region Indonesia & SE Asia
Farm Gate Yes
Grade 1
Appearance .0 d/300gr, 17+ PB screen
Roast Recommendations City+ is ideal for the cup I describe, lighter than other Sulawesi coffees. This coffee can take darker roasts and develops a good chocolate bittersweet roast flavor.
Weight 1 LB
Wet-process coffees from Sumatra or Sulawesi are rare. There are other Indonesia islands (Java, Timor, Flores) and sources farther up the island arc (Papua New Guinea) that do wet-processing. But Sumatra and Sulawesi are known for the Giling Basah (Wet-hulled) process that results in the heavy body, low acid cup profile tasters associate with the reason. This is an example of flavors from processing having a huge bearing on the cup flavors. Previous examples of wet-process Sumatra showed that when you lift that veil of "process flavor", there was little origin character, be it from the cultivar, the altitude, the micro-climate, or anything else, to speak of ... in other words, the coffee was incredibly boring. For those who dislike process flavors this always poses a problem; fruitiness from funky fermentation, or earthiness from the fact that, in Sulawesi and Sumatra, green coffee is dried directly on the ground/patio/tarp, with no protective shell or skin. So the question always in the back of my mind was this: are these inferior coffees that are being "flavored" by process, something we would not accept from any other origin. If we lift that veil of flavoring, would there indeed be a cup "signifying nothing." Well, to stand as clear proof that fear is unfounded, we offer a totally unconventional, fully washed (wet-process) coffee from the only long-established Estate in Sulawesi; PT Toarco Jaya. The operation is a partnership of a Japanese company and roaster. It's a unique flavor, and proves the potential of Sulawesi coffee: Strip off the overlaying process flavor, and it soars! Clean, bright, sweet; things that only come with good handling, good altitude, and good cultivar. While it may be a flavor profile one expects from Guatemala, not Sulawesi, it might also prove to those who don't like the earthy funk of Indonesia coffee that they CAN find something extraordinary from this part of the world. I visited there late last year and was so impressed. Toarco Estate is located in Tana Toraja and ranges from 1000 to 1250 meters, but much of their coffee comes from higher-altitude smallholder farmers they work with, upward of 1500 meters. It measures 530 hectares, but 300 is planted in coffee while the rest is preserved as native forest. The coffee is grown under a shade-tree canopy which they are restoring to nearly original condition at this writing. As I mentioned, Toarco farm also purchases coffee from surrounding smallholder farms, and provides agronomic education to these farmers to make sure the strict quality measures are met (in particular, the purchase only of fully ripe, red coffee cherry, and exacting milling and sorting standards). All the cherry is processed at the Toarco wet mill the same day it comes in from the field, using traditional wet-process methods you would find in Central America or other areas with a washed coffee tradition. While this an unusual Sulawesi cup, it still has flavors that relate to other coffees of the region. This is an earlier Peaberry lot we repackaged into our special bags to offer later. The dry fragrance is potent, with dynamic sweetness (Muscavado raw sugar) and brightness . In the wet aroma, slight traces of pine resin beneath the floral and citrus indicate the foresty character of Sulawesi. In the cup, the clean and sweet character is so unique for this origin. The body is moderate, certainly less than the wet-hulled Sulawesi coffees, but suggestions of pine/juniper resinous flavors give an Indonesian twist to a profile that might otherwise be Guatemalan. While bright and dynamic, it has a softer side too, characterized by the floral notes and balance. As it cools the coffee rounds out, has more body, and greater intensity, and greater sweetness. The finish balances between the the floral, sweet and the foresty character I mentioned before. This peaberry preparation is, like all things from Toarco, expertly done.