Incredibly unique washed Sumatra, burned sugar, apple, black currant, fruited acidity, clean finish. Deep roasts have chocolate syrup bittersweet, juicy body, fruited top notes. City to Full City+. Good for espresso.
This coffee represents an intervention in the parchment coffee buying process in Takengon, where wet parchment from the farms is bought by mills, dried to 50% moisture or so, and then "wet-hulled" to create the typical dark green Sumatra coffee. Because wet-hulled (called Giling Basah - HERE'S an article with background) 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. Nowhere else in the world is unprotected green coffee dried like this. This project in the high hills ("Gunung") of Gayo are much more akin to the coffee traditions of Central America. Whole cherry is delivered to a central washing station where the cherry is graded and then wet-processed. A departure from the Giling Basah tradition, with accountability and intention from the cherry to the eventual hulled product. And it's a difference you will find right away in the cup.
This coffee is so distinct from other Indonesias, like a hybrid between a Sumatra and a Central America coffee. It has the brighter, lively character of other origins, the aromatics, but still retains a slight degree of the rustic-flavored Sumatra roots too. The dry fragrance at City has a clean scent of honey biscotti with almond, and accents of berry and grape skins. Darker roasts are deeply sweet, with a smell of butter and brown sugar, and ripe grape verging on rustic in character. Breaking the wet crust gives off a nice mix of butter toffee and cooked apple, an orange cookie hint as well. This is a spectacular brewed coffee, showing well at a wide range of roasts. The body is less weighty than a wet-hull Sumatra, but still quite dense. The acidity level is a nice surprise in this coffee, and is like fruit juice. This still isn't a 'high acid' cup, but will stand well if put against a Guatemalan or Costa Rican coffee, which is impressive given the origin. The sweetness is like burned sugar, and flavors of apple and black currant come up as your work through the cup. Full CIty also has a subtle brightness, juicy body, and a bittersweet and syrupy cocoa flavor is laced with fruited top notes. I pulled an espresso shot with our Full City roast and yielded an incredibly sweet shot, fantastically rich chocolate flavor, with a citrus and tea accents.