We have some scheduled site maintenance to take care of, so our shopping cart will be down for about an hour starting at 6am PST on Wed. 10/17. You can still window shop...you just won't be able to buy anything until around 7am. Sorry for the trouble and thanks for your patience.
"Bonkawan" is a cooperative located in Lampahan just outside of Takengon, Aceh district. This is a certified organic lot from Northern Sumatra, from Aceh. Aceh has been a region of conflict but a solid peace treaty has been made between separatists and the government, great news for the farmers of coffee who are trapped in the middle, and always end up losing the most! (Aceh always looks like a misspelling of Ache to me!) This is the traditional wet-hulled process Sumatra process, which is different from dry-process or pulp natural. In true Natural Dry-Process, the whole unpulped (unpeeled) coffee cherry is laid on a patio to dry in the sun, then the skin, mucilage, parchment layer and silverskin are torn from the green seed in one step. To remove immature seeds, all the coffee is carefully sorted with eye and hand. In a Sumatra wet-hull process, called "giling basah" locally, the coffee is pulped out of the skin on the farm, but the mucilage, parchment and silverskin (chaff) remain on the green seed. It is then dried halfway, and transferred to a central mill where it is dried down to about 30% moisture. Then the dried mucilage and parchment layer are removed by the wet-huller machine, and the raw green bean goes out on the patios to dry to the normal 12% moisture. With either method, the coffee seed stays in contact with the fruity mucilage layer longer and this imparts natural flavors to the coffee. Now on to the cup character: The cup is Sumatra all the way without being musty, moldy, or dirty ... unacceptable flavors in any coffee, even Sumatras! The dry fragrance is classic Sumatra all the way: dark fruits and spice. The wet aroma has the sweetness of dried dark fruits; raisin, plum. The cup has shadowy-dark fruited tones, dried mission fig, Monukka raisin and prune, laced with pepper. The acidity is very low, the body is very high; it's neotypical Sumatra! I get a neat black walnut flavor, cinnamon and clove. There's a definite rustic sweetness from start to finish. With low acidity and opaque body, this gives the cup an unusual overall character, what is somewhat colorfully called "brooding" in the wine world.