We have some scheduled site maintenance to take care of, so our shopping cart will be down for about an hour starting at 6am PST on Wed. 10/17. You can still window shop...you just won't be able to buy anything until around 7am. Sorry for the trouble and thanks for your patience.
Heady aroma of potent and sugar smells, palm sugar, rice syrup, and dried coconut notes, along with ripe berry, juicy fruits, and sweet foresty earth tones. . Complex! City+ to Full City+. SO Espresso.
Within the Lintong Nihota area, Aek Nauli lies due west of Dolok Sanggul, another region we buy coffee from regularly. It's just about 5km down the road, so very close, and you can see the Onan Ganjang highlands in the distance. Much of this area's Landscape is defined by Lake Toba, the largest volcanic crater lake in the world. It's gigantic, and the coffees from around this area can be truly unique. 'Aek Nauli' translates to 'village with 1,000 ponds' - ironically it's difficult to find much water in the surrounding area, but there is a small river in Aek Nauli. The people of Aek Nauli rely on rain water for much of their daily water consumption, and this is used for agriculture as well. We work with a mill who buys directly from the farmers, many in the surrounding highlands, keeping lots separated and intact. This is one reason for the top quality of this coffee, the other being meticulous and repetitive sorting during milling - much more so than most Grade 1 Mandhelings.
This lot from Aek Nauli is a potent Lintong coffee, earthy sweetness and pungent sugar and fruit tones that follow through from dry fragrance to the cup. The dry grounds have a sweet smell of palm sugar, dried coconut, ripe berries, as well as a mossy earth-like note. The sweetness found in the wet aroma is incredible - an intense scent of butterscotch raisin pudding comes off the crust, with green herbal notes showing up on the break. It's a lovely set of aromatics, and while revealing earth and "rustic" qualities we tend to associate with Indo coffee, fruit and developed sugar notes have strength, and add a welcome twist. The cup is delicious, with lots of up-front sweetness. Cup flavors vacillate between complex sugars like brown rice syrup and caramel sauce, and fruited notes like rhubarb, pulpy citrus, and pungent tropicals. Flavors shift a bit as the cup cools, opening up to a much more in the way of juicy fruits, foresty Lintong flavors (cedar, sandalwood), and even modest acidity (still very low in comparison to most African coffees). The finish has citrus zest and cacao nibs, with a pleasantly bittering effect in the long aftertaste - this one really goes long. Would make a great espresso component, and even a sweet SO Sumatra shot of espresso for those who enjoy complexity.