Pantan Murara is a washed Sumatra, still showing rustic sweetness, but more in line with the cleanliness of a washed Java. Heavy dark sugar matrix, fruit notes come out as the coffee cools, tropical fruit, kumquat, and tangy dried plum. Earth notes are off in the background, quite a difference from the wet-hulled processed coffees. City to Full City+
This coffee represents an intervention in the parchment coffee buying process in Takengon, where normally, wet parchment from the farms is bought by mills, dried to 25% moisture or so, and then "wet-hulled" to create the typical dark green Sumatra coffee. Because wet-hulled (called Giling Basah) coffee is laid out to dry after the parchment layer is peeled off, it is exposed to all kinds of possible taints. Under the best conditions, the green coffee is laid on raised beds or clean concrete patios. But in smaller mills and home-processing, it is laid on driveways, on dirty tarps, or directly on hard dirt plots, resulting in "earthy" notes in the cup we're familiar with. This lot comes from a project where they start with the same small-holder coffee, purchased selectively from this specific Aceh subdistrict. But instead of only partially drying and hulling wet parchment with 25% moisture, they then dry in parchment all the way down to 11% moisture. This process is the same way you would dry a coffee in Guatemala, in Colombia, or in Kenya. Then it is hulled at the dry mill as any other coffee would be (we're calling it "dry-hulled" to differentiate from the typical Sumatra giling bash). Wet-hulling is often thought to be "traditional" in the region, but is actually born from a need for quick cash turnaround, so speeding up the payment process by partially drying. You can read more about this part of the story in Tom's article Why You Should Know Giling Basah. This is a blend of coffee types, some old Typica varietals as well as the usual local types - djember, bergendal, and such - making for a really interesting Sumatra cup.
It's a washed Sumatra, but it's still retained much of the Indonesian rustic appeal. But here we are tasting varietal, and not affect of process that is the main source of flavor. The dry fragrance is so sweet, some rice-syrup rustic sweetness, and a bouquet of bright, tropical fruits. Adding hot water builds a thick berry scent, like sweet mixed berry syrup with caramel sugars, and an herbaceous quality that is released when breaking through the crust. Being Sumatra, it's not surprising that the profile is complex, but the variety of fruit notes and atypical cleanliness is more than noteworthy (not Ethiopia clean, but rivaling Java refinement). The cup is loaded with burned sugar and sorghum flavors, building a base sweetness underneath top note complexity. Tropical fruits like kumquat and papaya come through, and a cooling cup resembles the tart flavor of dried plum. It's a thick coffee - profile-wise and body too. There's slight acidity too, adding some structure to the cup, and playing off underlying earth tones (far less prominent than dry-hulled Sumatras). I wouldn't shy away from light roasts with this one, but this coffee also handles well up into the darker end of the roast spectrum too. The cup profile at Full City takes on a dark shade of cacao, and roast tones do little to tame the sweet, dark fruit notes.