If you want that intense, old school continental espresso flavor, the type that makes the coffee cut through the steam milk like a knife, nothing quite does it like a robusta. The issue is that robusta coffee is the second-class citizen of the coffee world. Rightly so! Even in it's most perfect state, it lacks the aromatics, sweetness, and clean-cup flavors of a well-processed, high-grown arabica. But part of the problem is that robusta coffees are not treated well, processed very poorly, and dried badly, resulting in dirty, rubbery, musty flavors. This Java Merapi Robusta is part of our ongoing effort to put the best face on robusta, specifically for those who want to use it as 10-20% of a classic espresso blend. The robustas we offer can be brewed too, ideally in French Press. But it's not the coffee I would want to drink every day, to be frank. This coffee is different than many robustas, processed in the wet hull Sumatra style. It comes from the area of the Banjarsari and Gesing Villages, located in Kandangan and Jumo districts of Central Java Province (about 50km from Merapi Volcano, the most active volcano in the world). Altitude is 600 - 800 meters and the processing is done on the Took Bandung farm. The trees themselves grow on the roughly 3000 hectares surrounding the estate. The region is in the process of obtaining Organic certification.
The dry fragrance is clearly robusta-like, a bit earthy and leathery, but also with chocolate milk notes and roasted nuts. The wet aroma is also nutty, with earthy hints. The break releases rustic spice and tobacco notes, and a woody/chaffy smell as well. The cup flavors are a composite of baker_‹_s chocolate, brown rice, Brazil nut, and toasted grains. It's not a sweet coffee, but it is attractive as bittering chocolate notes can be attractive in the right context. There is something more like burned sugar than raw sugar in this cup. The body is very oily, palpably viscous. The acidity is very low, but the cup finishes with bit of astringent tightness that, oddly, gives it some approximation of acidity. It's an unusual taste experience, and I am sure those who like the aggressive nature of an Aged Sumatra might enjoy a French Press of this, roasted to FC+. For me it has a place in certain espresso blends where the bitterness of the coffee will be offset by the lactose sweetness of some steamed milk. You can't really judge this coffee by the score (very low), but you need to look at it by it's use; primarily an espresso accent.