Sumatra Raja Batak Peaberry

A complex and intense brewed coffee, prune juice, pipe tobacco, apricot, burdock root, bold bittersweet cocoa tones, and sweet herbal and tobacco notes. Immense body, lasting finish. City+ to Vienna. Good for espresso.

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  • Process Method Giling Basah
  • Cultivar Typica Types
  • Farm Gate Yes
Region Indonesia & SE Asia
Processing Wet Hulled (Giling Basah)
Drying Method Patio Sun-dried
Arrival date October 2018 Arrival
Lot size 80
Bag size 30 KG
Packaging GrainPro liner
Farm Gate Yes
Cultivar Detail Ateng, Bergendal, TimTim
Grade Peaberry
Appearance .7 d/300gr, 15 PB Screen
Roast Recommendations City+ to FC+ to Vienna. See my notes about the intensity.
Type Farm Gate
Recommended for Espresso Yes

"Raja 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 double hand-picked during the milling process. The result is a visibly superior overall sort, and a surprisingly clean Lintong cup. This coffee works at a wide range of roast, with great sweetness and the complex forest and herbal notes of the Lintong terroir. 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.

The sweetness smelled in the dry fragrance has the pungency of black strap molasses with dehydrated fruit and sweet tobacco accents. Both City+ and Full City roasts have potent, rustic aromatics, mixing earth-toned bittersweetness with syrupy unrefined sugars, and an interesting cilantro/green herbal hint. The cup is complex, malt syrups with bell pepper and burdock root accents as it cools. A note of dried natural apricot comes up as you move through the cup, along with intense bittersweet chocolate, and a rustic palm sugar accent in the finish. Full City roasts are brimming with bittering cacao/unsweetened chocolate flavors, and as the coffee cools, top notes like pipe tobacco, prune juice, peat, and hickory smoke come through in the finish. This coffee's body is thick, so viscous and syrupy. Add to this a muted acidity level, and you have the makings for a wonderful espresso blend component, or even single origin. This is a Sumatra that shows well in light roasting, even at City roast, however my favorite brewed cup was in the City+ to Full City roast range, where earth tones find balance among rustic syrupy sweetness. I also prefer letting this coffee rest for a couple days before drinking, allowing the flavor notes to coalesce.