Unlike other Aceh coffee we've carried: rustic sweeteners meld with stone fruit accents, and foresty appeal comes in the form of herbal and aromatic wood flavors, and herbal tea-like acidity. City+ to Full City.
|Region||Bener Meriah District, Aceh|
|Processing||Honey Process then Wet Hulled|
|Drying Method||Covered Sun-dried|
|Arrival date||May 2019 Arrival|
|Bag size||60 KG|
|Cultivar Detail||Gayo, Tim Tim, Typica|
|Appearance||1+ d/300gr, like most "grade 1" Sumatran coffees, it has mottled color, insect damage, and broken beans - and also like most Sumatran coffees, I wouldn't even bother pulling them out and my review is from an unsorted sample|
|Roast Recommendations||City+ to Full City|
This lot is from a coffee farmer and collector in Bener Meriah District, Western Aceh Province. "Collectors" are essentially coffee buyers who purchase coffee from local farmers in the region. Typically, the coffee has already been processed down to the wet parchment and dried to roughly 50% moisture before being sold to the collector, who will then take the coffee back to their own facility where they will peel the parchment layer and dry the coffee the rest of the way (down to 10-12% moisture more or less). We call this method wet hulled, or "Giling Basah". "Honey Labu", on the other hand, is quite differently. "Labu" is the Bahasa word used for the wet-hulled, fresh green coffee. But in honey labu, the coffee is first processed like any honey, by removing the cherry and only some of the sticky mucilage/fruit which tends to impart fruited notes as well as bolster body. The coffee is then dried to approximately 30% moisture content at which time it is wet hulled (giling basah), peeling both the remaining mucilage and parchment from the seed while the coffee is still wet, and then dried the rest of the way. This step of the process is what constructs the earth-toned flavors we tend to associate with Sumatra, and certainly what popularized the coffees from this region. But here we have a unique hybrid process that brings out the best of both worlds. A cup that is fruit-forward and sweet, big bodied and low toned, and complex through and through.
From the outset, this "Honey Labu" Aceh lot shows fruited and rustic sweet aromatics. Smells of red berry and mirky dried fruits are overlaid by rustic sweetness and complex herbal fragrance. The cup has a lot of the wet-hulled flavors we're accustomed to tasting from Aceh, brown rice syrup and palm sugar, herbal/woody flavors, and tobacco. But along with that comes fruit and even a mild acidic impression. The latter alludes to dried slab apricot and an herbal tea-like mouthfeel. The cooled coffee presents intense sweetness and complexity unlike most other Aceh coffees we've carried. Full City roasts have a bittering layer similar to baking cocao with a dark fruited hint that adds a juicy quality to the brewed coffee.