This batch of Sumatra comes to us from the base of Mount Kerinci in the South Solok Regency, West Sumatra Province, Sumatra, Indonesia.
Mount Kerinci is Indonesia’s tallest volcano, found just one degree south of the equator on Sumatra’s western edge. The volcano sits on the border between Jambi and West Sumatra Provinces and is the namesake of the surrounding Kerinci Sablat National Park, a UNESCO and ASEAN heritage site and home to Asia’s largest wild tiger population. It is also the center of an extremely productive agricultural region for tea, coffee, horticulture, as well as ecotourism…You know, all the things you do when you live on an active volcano surrounded by tigers!
The coffee zones immediately around Mount Kerinci have for the past few years been gaining a reputation for being the island’s most innovative. The coffee industry here is small compared to North Sumatra or Aceh, and certainly much more recent. A handful of focused processors and cooperatives here have been looking beyond the giling basah, or wet hulling traditional to the northern highlands, and instead producing natural process coffees with huge fruit character, gentle florals, spiced cider complexity, and rose water.
Natural processing is perhaps the last thing one would think possible in Sumatra’s consistently rainy climates. But by investing in raised beds and shade coverings has made it possible. Harvest across South Solok is spread across seven full months due to the climate, but thanks to the new generation of growers working together here, sharing knowledge and eager to experiment, coffees like this one are not only possible, but wildly successful.
Origin InformationGrower - 288 producers organized around UKM Camintoran
Variety - Jember (S795), Andungsari
Region - South Solok Regency, West Sumatra Province, Sumatra, Indonesia
Harvest - November 2019 - July 2020
Altitude - 1250 – 1500 m (4101 to 4921 ft)
Soil - Volcanic loam
Process - "Natural" dried in the fruit on raised beds
Taste ProfileSweetness - Peach Candy & Caramel
Acidity - Dancing & Lime-like
Viscosity - Buttery & Coating
Cleanliness - Pine & Oolong Tea
We roasted this batch of Sumatra Kerinci to a full medium roast. Depending on the grind and brewing method, this Sumatra Kerinci Crown Jewel can produce notes of peach candy, caramel and Oolong tea.
As with most Top-Shelf coffees, we suggest using the pour-over method to maximized the aroma and flavor of this Crown Jewel coffee using a 1:16 coffee to water ratio with the water between 200F and 205F. Once grounds are placed in the filter, pre-soak grounds by covering with water for ~30sec to allow for blooming, then finish with either a steady pour or a couple of short pours to complete the brewing process.
Brew Observations / Analysis
Brew Observation by Nate Lumpkin, Royal Coffee
After cupping my Ikawa roasts of this coffee, I was very curious to see how it would turn out brewed on pour-over. I decided to reach for a handful of brew devices this time: the Origami dripper, the Kalita Wave, and the Fellow Stagg. For all my brews, I used a standard dose of 18g of coffee and 300g of water, set to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. The coffee was ground on an EK43S on grind setting 8. This is very similar to the brew recipe we use for our pour-overs for service here at the Crown—sometimes the grind might be a little bit coarser, but I favor a finer grind for brew analysis, to encourage a more vivid flavor profile.
The Origami is a beautiful and versatile pour-over device, and I figured it would be a good place to start. It brewed through fairly quickly, at 2:08, but showed a favorable extraction of 19.8%. The cup had an aroma of sliced citrus, and flavors of lime, pear, red fruit like cranberry/apple juice, cocoa powder, dark chocolate fudge, cedar, a coating body, and a lightly astringent quality. There was also a hint of a cooling herb on the finish, like spearmint. I thought this coffee was really delicious, but not exactly what I expected from the tropical cup I tasted on my Ikawa analysis.
My brew on the Kalita Wave produced a cup that finished a little bit later, at 2:13, and showed an extraction of 20.09%, very similar to the Origami. Its aroma was very sweet and citrus-like, with a distinct lemon-lime acidity in the cup, and flavor notes of pear, apple, raspberry, caramel, dark chocolate, butternut squash, and oolong tea. I tasted a hint of pine, and our Tasting Room Manager Elise Becker, compared it to “fresh forest floor.” This cup was easy drinking and approachable.
My brew with the Fellow Stagg finished at exactly the same time as my brew on the Origami—2:08—but as I expected with this device, pushed extraction a little higher, to 20.99%. This cup tasted quite different from my previous brews. It had an aroma of juniper berry, and a first impression of elderflower in the cup, with further notes of lime, jasmine, orange marmalade, peach candy, and grape soda, with a dancing, almost carbonated acidity, and a buttery mouthfeel. This cup was really delicious. I don’t recall tasting a natural coffee quite like this before! I recommend trying a brew style like this one that pushes extraction a little bit higher to taste everything this fascinating coffee has to offer.
Mount Kerinci is Indonesia’s tallest volcano, found just one degree south of the Equator on Sumatra’s western edge. The volcano sits on the border between Jambi and West Sumatra Provinces and is the namesake of the surrounding Kerinci Sablat National Park, a UNESCO and ASEAN heritage site and home to Asia’s largest wild tiger population. It is also the center of an extremely productive agricultural region for tea, coffee, horticulture, as well as ecotourism…You know, all the things you do when you live on an active volcano surrounded by tigers. Gosh we just love Sumatra so much.
The UKM Comintoran is a 288-member producer group of very small family farms. Unlike previous Crown Jewel releases from Mount Kerinci’s southern communities, this group hails from the mountain’s northern, less populated highlands, from the regency of South Solok, part of Western Sumatra. Farms average only slightly larger than a hectare each and mainly grow Jember, also known as S795, a very interesting cross between an Indian typica mutation and a liberica hybrid first created by the Indonesian Coffee and Cacao Research Institute, as well as Andungsari, a catimor commonly grown across central Java. Natural processing is perhaps the last thing one would think possible in Sumatra’s consistently rainy climates. But by investing in raised beds and shade coverings, Pak Irwan, the general manager of UKM Comintoran, has managed to make it happen, putting UKM Comintoran among few peers in Sumatra processing.
Harvest across South Solok is spread across seven full months due to the climate, but thanks to the new generation of growers working together here, sharing knowledge and eager to experiment, coffees like this one are not only possible, but wildly successful. Sumatra loves drinking coffee and has a booming specialty roasting scene of its own. If you have spent time in certain parts of Sumatra you have likely experienced the unique vexation of drinking wonderfully electric, gorgeous coffees—dry-hulled, perfectly hand-cleaned, even tiny experimental batches--that will never make it onto a ship. In a way Sumatra is the coffee world gone right; the best stuff is in the farmer’s kitchen, or the café their kids own in town, rarely at scale for export. Which makes us all the more proud of our Sumatra Crown Jewels and the producers behind them. They are the excellent coffees that do make it abroad, helping us all see Sumatra’s potential for what it is.
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