AN INDONESIAN DARK ROAST WITH AROMATIC SUPERPOWERS
Roasting in March: Sumatra Batak. This limited release is the monthly featured roast of our Small Batch coffee subscription series, also available—for a short time—online only.
Perfect for Indo-Pacific Enthusiasts
From the lush greenery surrounding the South Lake Toba town of Lintong-nihuta comes Sumatra Batak, the best coffee of the island—though this sweet-and-spicy heavyweight has a less precise provenance than an estate coffee; it is produced only by smallholders, and its profoundly aromatic impact seems only to be sourced from the area. We feature this coffee as a single origin to delight of our Indo-Pacific coffee drinkers (and modern-day-Mr. Peets).
A Uniquely Indonesian Technique
The Batak farmers utilize a wet-hulling process called Giling Basah to produce this flavorful Sumatra, wherein the coffee is hulled and dried in a series of steps that expose each bean to unique tropical influences. It’s a risky, less consistent practice, but it’s what gives Indonesian coffees their weighty spice and satisfaction.
Get this Coffee a Cape
The effect of these factors is staggering: sweet and complex, dry and spicy. Characterized by herbal aromatics of sweet tobacco and teak wood, syrupy treacle lends its richness and heft to each substantial cup. Its fragrance can fill a whole room—some might call it Sumatra Batak’s superpower.
NOTES FROM THE PEET’S ROASTERY
The dark olive green beans selected for this small batch smelled kind of woody, like other Bataks, but also surprisingly like clay soil that’s rich, wet, and surrounded by beautiful trees and vegetation.
It took two batches to warm the roaster to just the right temperature. The coffee was slow to roast at first, but once it picked up, it moved faster than a typical Sumatra. The first crack was soft yet audible, followed by a second crack that was so quiet you had to lean close to hear it. Luckily, it was easy to finish roasting this Sumatra by observing the beans change color. That made up for the quiet pop.
The fragrance of the beans is known to fill a whole room—some might call it Sumatra Batak’s superpower—and the Roastery was filled with aromatics of dry wood, forest-floor leaves, and a hint of pepper. We think this coffee’s hefty body really comes through when brewed in a press pot. Topping it off with splash of cream would be welcome, but taste before adding sugar, as its syrupy nature is plenty sweet.
— John Nicolini and Michael Madden, Roasters