Complex and intense sweetness at City+ roast, malt syrup, sarsaparilla, herbal tones, and sweet tobacco. Darker roasts have chicory root and molasses. Shows well all the way up to Vienna, but it was our lightest roast, C+, that was the most complex. City+ to Vienna.
Lintong coffees are from Sumatra, the island that is politically and geographically part of Indonesia. Lintong Nihota is the town that has become synonymous with the entire southern part of Lake Toba area. Lake Toba defines the landscape of the area, the largest volcanic crater lake in the world, and the result of the largest volcanic event on earth in the last 25 million years! It is huge, and the coffees from the north and eastern shores are quite different from the Lintong coffees. Lintong coffees are farmed by the Batak peoples that are the indigenous tribe that works the coffee in this area. Tano Batak, which simply means "Land of Batak" is a coffee that is carefully prepared and sorted again in Medan to the highest standards. The Tano Batak project is sourced from a family of Batak collectors in Lintong, known for their long-term, direct relationships with the small-scale farmers. They pay a premium to get the best parchment coffee. After the coffee is brought to Medan for export, it is density sorted and hand-sorted again. This coffee works at a wide range of roast, with great sweetness and the complex foresty and herbal notes of the Lintong terroir. It might go against common sense, but I find Sumatras like this more complex in the lighter roasts than in the usual darker roasts they receive. The main reason is that many commercial roasters use color and surface texture as indicators of roast level. They roast coffee until the bean looks attractive. With a Sumatra like this, you will mostly likely hit 2nd crack at the point where the surface texture and variegated bean color evens out, and (I think) you may have gone too far at that point.
The dry fragrance has a rustic, earthy sweetness to it, a peet smell, and molasses. The wet aromatics are more pungent and a little herbal, with a note of raspberry coming up on the break. The cup has a complex and intense sweetness at City+ roast, with malt syrup turning toward sarsaparilla, and herbal tones as it cools - fresh basil and tarragon. There are hints of mild sweet tobacco, and a woody note comes through too, but with this earthy Indonesia, it blends well. Darker roasts have a chicory flavor, smokey and sweet, and an aroma of foresty "green"ness, pine-like, sappy trees. The body is syrupy and thick. Of course this coffee shows great at Full City and Full City+ too, but our lightest roast, C+ seemed the most appropriate and complex. This makes interesting and sweet espresso, but might be too herbal and rustic for some palates