Origin Guide, Asia
Coffee was first exported from Indonesia in 1711 by the Dutch East India Company who sent almost all of the produce to Amsterdam where it was sold for incredibly high prices. Coffee was therefore a profitable export for the Dutch, though the same cannot be said for the farmers producing it due to colonial rule.
Indonesia began with Arabica production but following a bout of leaf rust in 1876, much of this crop was destroyed leading to the introduction of the more disease resistant Robusta. This makes up a large proportion of the coffee produced in Indonesia today. Producing regions include: Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, Flores and Bali. Each of which have slightly different ways of growing, processing and trading coffee.
Indonesian coffees are prized for their unique flavour profile which is completely distinct when compared with coffee from any other origin. They are often low in acidity with heavy body and rich chocolate notes, though they can also be slightly wild and funky with notes of earth, wood and spice. This flavour is mostly due to the method used to process the coffee known locally as ‘Giling Basah’. In this process the coffee is picked, depulped (usually on the individual small holding) and then partly sun dried until the moisture content of the beans reaches 30-35 per cent. Unusually, the parchment beans are then hulled at this stage to tear off the outer layer protecting the inner bean revealing a whitish coloured, swollen green bean. The drying is then completed on the patio until the moisture content reduces to a level where mould formation is not a risk. After this is complete, the beans turn to a dark green / blue colour which is very distinctive and makes Indonesian beans processed in this way instantly recognisable.
This process does not come without its problems. Due to the fact that the protective layer is removed at an earlier state, the beans are left exposed to the elements (and insects) during a really important stage in the process. This can put many specialty buyers off due to the increased risk of defect and slightly ‘scruffier’ look to the bean. However, it is possible to find clean and consistent Indonesian coffees which add a lot to blends due to the depth of flavour they can provide.
We have been working with the Bener Meriah producing group (400 growers in the region of Tingkem) in Sumatra since 2017 who contribute a vital component to our house blend The Docks. It is this element that adds a chocolatey depth which really helps to cut through milk and create a richer cup profile.
Introducing the coffee that started it all. Our faithful house blend may have undergone a name change and minor facelift in the last eight years but the components and delicious taste profile have essentially remained the same.
Expect : Milk Chocolate, Toasted Nuts, Tangerine
Enjoy with : With or Without Milk
Location: Três Pontas, Minas Gerais
Altitude: 900 masl
Varietal: Catuaí, Mundo Novo, Acaiá, Rubi, Catucaí, Topázio
Owners: Marcelo Renato Brito
Flavours: Milk Chocolate | Caramel | Hazelnut
El Salvador Chelazos
Location: Chalatenango, Northern El Salvador
Altitude: 1,400-1,600 masl
Varietal: Bourbon, Pacas
Owners: Alberto Ochoa, María Zoila Piñeda, Orlando Aguilar, Jose Alfonso Rodriguez
Flavours: Plum | Caramel | Tangerine
Sumatra Ara Cahayani Gayo
Location: Gayo Highland, Aceh, Sumatra
Altitude: 1400-1600 masl
Varietal: Tim Tim
Owners: Various micro entrepreneurs
Flavours: Dark Chocolate | Spice | Orange Peel
Enjoy : With or Without Milk
Grind Setting: Very fine
Brew Time: 23-28 seconds (assuming dose below)
Dose:Brewed Weight 16-18g : 35-38g
Grind Setting: Coarse
Brew Time: Around 4 minutes
Coffee:Water 17-18g : 250ml
Grind Setting: Fine (coarser than espresso, but finer than Aeropress)
Brew Time: Dependent on size & heat source
Coffee:Water 22g : 250ml (but dependent upon size of coffee-maker)
Learn more about our supplier partnerships.
We work with a number of impact driven companies who support us in building an offering designed to not only offer an amazing cup of coffee but one that contributes solutions to some of the major issues facing our industry.