Green Coffee Offerings : Indonesia : Java
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New crop coffee from the Java Sunda coffee project (West Java) is cupping really well. We hope to have stock of it for a good, long time. We have not been looking at the coffees from the big, old farms of East Java at all.
About Java's Coffee
Java is a clean cup for an Indonesian, a fully wet-processed coffee that has the Indonesian body and thickness in the cup without earthy or dirty flavors. Our experience is that early lots of Timor and Java can be the finest while in Central Americans you usually need to hold out for the mid-crop to late-crop samples. In the case of Sumatra and Sulawesi, it seems that the second to third wave of arrivals can be the best. Of course, these truisms are made to be broken... that's why samples and cupping are always the key.
The problem is that a low acid coffee can taste quite flat, or incomplete. It's no wonder that an average quality Java is considered a "good blender" and not a true, stand-alone single origin coffee. We don't look for average quality though - we look for stand out coffees. The Government Estate coffees are quite mild, but I usually find a lot that has a bit more going on, usually a Djampit or Blawan lot. In the past we liked the Kayumas best since it exemplifies both the thick oily body of a Java with some other nice flavors.
But now we are getting coffee from a project I visited in West Java, called Java Sunda, not that far from Bandung. The cup has been very promising.
"Government Estate" Java comes from 4 old farms (Kayumas, Blawan, Djampit, Pancoer) that date back to Dutch colonialism, and "Private Estate" Java. Government Estate is invariably preferred as higher quality coffee. I usually have a strong preference when I get all the Gov't. Estate samples in and blind cup them.
All main estates are located in East Java in the vicinity of the Ijen volcanic complex. The arabica coffee plant was brought to Indonesia around 1696 and has been commercially cultivated until today. The Government body (called the PTP XXVI Plantation) grows about 85% of the coffee in East Java, close to Bali on the Ijen area. The range of altitudes suitable for coffee production is 3,000 to 6,000 feet with most growing in the plateau region at 4,500. Djampit and Blawan are the largest estates, while Pancoer is 1110 Hectares and Kayumas is 725 Hectares. Blawan is huge: 2268 Hectares. There is an old cultivar that can be found, called Java Typica. But there is a lot of catimor-derived cultivars. One is ironically called USDA, named after those who developed and endorsed it, as well as Kartika cultivar.
Our Unroasted Javanese Coffee Offerings:(You will need to read the reference page to interpret terms and numbers used below). Check out the Sweet Maria's Coffee Home Roasting Forum for more conversation about home roasting this and other coffees.
Mayang is the project name for coffee from the area of Ciwidey. This coffee is the result of working with the local farmers in the oldest coffee-growing region in Java, and wet-processing the coffee in little batches to high standards. Java Sunda (West Java) was the original coffee area, but you would find few trees here of late. Most Java coffee is grown in the East, where the big estates are. Most Java sold in the US is basically East Java coffee. But farmers in Java Sunda always kept small coffee plots, although they mainly grown rice, onions, cabbage, carrots and other food crops for local markets. Here amongst the Ateng and Jember coffees are some old Typica trees, the original Typica, which is quite amazing. (Java was the first destination for coffee from Yemen, with a stopover in India). This is the fourth year of the project, and we are starting to see better separation of regional lots. The Mayang coffee is a mix of varieties, planted at a range between 1380-1600 meters. All these coffees were hand sorted, hiring local youths in the area. This has driven up the cost of the coffee, but resulted in a better cup, and is in the spirit of this project to improve both the coffee and community in the area.
This coffee is remarkable when set against other Indonesian coffees of the wet-hulled type, such as Sumatra from Toba or Tawar areas. The dry fragrance has clean stone fruit scents, dried peaches, with hazelnut (City Roast) and semi-sweet chocolate (Full City Roast). Lighter roasts have clover honey sweetness. The wet aroma has a caramel-butter saturated sweetness, butterfinger-like, with more of a cocoa nib bittering scent on the break. The cup has a fruit jam quality, peach preserves, a strong and pervasive sweetness, with a juicy mouthfeel in the finish. There is a savory/umami quality in the cup that pairs well with the body, and some fruit tea tannins in the light roast finish. Darker roasts have a lot more cocoa roast tones to the cup, with latent peach-apricot flavors and a suggestion of blackberry as the cup cools (great roast level for SO espresso!). There's a hint of aromatic wood at some lighter roast levels, and our lightest roast was a bit chaffy, but was probably just under-roasted generally based on the other cup flavors. It's best to let this develop after First Crack to at least a City roast level, where the fruit jam aspect was most present.
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This coffee is the result of a project in the oldest coffee-growing region in Java, working with the local farmers, and wet-processing the coffee in tiny batches to high standards. Java Sunda (West Java) was the original coffee area in Indonesia, but you would find few trees here of late. Most Java coffee is grown in the East, where the big estates are. Most Java sold in the US is East Java coffee. But farmers in Java Sunda always kept small coffee plots, although they mainly grown rice, onions, cabbage, carrots and other food crops for local markets in Jakarta or Bandung. Here amongst the Ateng and Jember coffees are some old Typica trees, the original Typica, which is quite amazing. (Java was the first destination for coffee from Yemen, with a stopover in India). This is the fourth year of the project, and we are starting to see better separation of regional lots. Candra Wulan is a designation for coffees from the Ciwidey and Pacet areas of Java Sunda, ranging from 1400-1550 meters. All these coffees were hand sorted, hiring local youths in the area. This has driven up the cost of the coffee, but resulted in a better cup, and is in the spirit of this project to improve both the coffee and community in the area.
These wet-processed Java coffees are unique because their flavor profile falls between the earthy, low-toned Indonesias from Sumatra and the brighter wet-processed coffees from other continents. What they don't have is the earth or musty tones of wet-hulled coffees from other parts of Indo. The smell from the dry ground coffee has a candy-coated peanut scent with honey (yeah, we're talking beer nuts), fresh butter, and a note of salted caramel. The wet aromatics follow in the same suit, but with peach preserve, sweet honey-nut (more hazelnut than beer nuts!) and dark fruits like dried black currant. The cup features cooked fruit notes, like peach pie filling, with a orange honey sweetness in the lighter roast levels. The mouthfeel is well-weighted, but not as heavy as some of the typical wet-hulled Indo coffees. The brightness is, however, nothing like the wet-hulled types, with a lively level of acidity that accents the fruit notes in the cup. Lighter roasts have nut and cocoa roast tones, while City+ and darker, with more sugars converted, becomes more brown sugar-like with some milk chocolate aspects as well. The clean cedar scent from the aromatics comes through in the finish, a vestige of this coffees Indonesian roots. It's not a typical Indo, but rather part of a paradigm-shift in coffee toward cleaner, brighter and more flavorful character in the cup.
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To view reviews for out of stock coffees, visit our Java Coffee Archives.
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This page is authored by Thompson Owen and Sweet Maria's Coffee, Inc. and is not to be copied or reproduced without permission