This coffee is the result of a project in the oldest coffee-growing region in Java, working with the local farmers, and wet-processing the coffee in tiny batches to high standards. Java Sunda (West Java) was the original coffee area, but you would find few trees here of late. Most Java coffee is grown in the East, where the big estates are. Most Java sold in the US is basically East Java coffee. But farmers in Java Sunda always kept small coffee plots, although they mainly grown rice, onions, cabbage, carrots and other food crops for local markets. Here amongst the Ateng and Jember coffees are some old Typica trees, the original Typica, which is quite amazing. (Java was the first destination for coffee from Yemen, with a stopover in India). This is the fourth year of the project, and we are starting to see better separation of regional lots. Pitaloka is from the Kelom Pok farmer group, the name derived from a 14th century queen of the independent Sunda kingdom. The coffee is a mix of varieties, planted 1400-1550 meters. All these coffees were meticulously hand sorted, hiring local youths in the area. This has driven up the cost of the coffee, but resulted in a better cup, and is in the spirit of this project to improve both the coffee and community in the area.This coffee is part of our Farm Gate pricing program.
We're excited to have a new lot of Pitaloka back in stock. There's a particular sweetness to be found in this Java that we don't often see in Indonesian coffees, and yet it has clear Indonesia character too. The dry fragrance has sweet tobacco, dried cherries, cashew, molasses and chocolate cake mix. The wet aromatics are intense, with muscovado sugar, cocoa nibs, Madagascar chocolate, and some definite Indo foresty notes, which make it clear what part of the world this coffee is from. The cup has a great blend of sweet and bittering notes; cherries with a dusting of cocoa. There are nutty roast tones in the light roast, toasted almonds, which combine with slightly mossy and spiced flavors to give the cup a darker roast character than it really is. It's sweet but also has those sweet savory notes of beef broth, along with a hefty body and high intensity. Alongside other Indonesias on the cupping table, it has glittering acidity and sweetness. Alongside Guatemala coffees it tastes funky, pungent, brooding, deep. Context matters. We know this coffee strikes a great balance though and it an alternative to poorly processed wet-hulled coffees that a roaster can be proud to offer.