This Sulawesi has a nice up-front sweetness, honey and apple juice, with notes of toasted grain. Green grape, cranberry, and caramel come up as it cools. Full City roasts have pulpy orange juice and bittersweet cocoa. City to Full City.
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 region. This coffee is unique in that instead of Giling Basah, it was "dry hulled". These dry hulled coffees are first purchased by the mill owner from local smallholder farmers as wet parchment. They then dry the parchment on patios to a moisture level of around 12%. At this point the coffee is carefully processed and sorted at their own dry mill. Dry milling coffee is something we usually associate with South and Central America, and even parts of Africa - places that are heavily steeped in washed coffee tradition. This is unconventional for this area and allows us to strip off the overlaying process flavor and take in the clean, bright, and sweet cup profile...characteristics that only come with good handling, good altitude, and good cultivar. I've made the trip out to this estate and was so impressed. The operation is a partnership of a Japanese company and roaster. It 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. Our lots come from these higher altitude regions.
This Sulawesi lot has a uniquely "clean" profile, boasting a juicy body and articulated sweetness. The dry fragrance has the smell of freshly baked molasses and ginger cookies, as well as raisin cinnamon bread. This sweetness is expounded upon in the wet grounds, with butter toffee and maple aromatics dominating lighter roasts, while bittersweet roast tones permeate from the crust of darker roasts. The coffee has a nice up-front sweetness, honey and apple juice, along with a note of toasted grain (especially at light roast levels). As the cup cools, flavors of green grape and cranberry come up, as well as a nice caramel flavor. Darker roasts have pulpy orange juice as well as bittersweet cocoa. While this is an unusual Sulawesi cup, it still has flavors that relate it to other coffees of the region - slight notes of dried basil, and sage. Like all things from this producer, the preparation on this peaberry lot is expertly done, thus resulting in exceptional cup quality.