Two of the more common taste characteristics I find with Indonesian coffee are those of floral and spice, and their cousins, earthy and herby. What was I expecting with the Bunisora? Much of the same I guess, which I have to say was pretty much spot on.
Whilst I am not suggesting this as a negative necessarily, at times the overall flavour profile was perhaps just a touch underwhelming in the cup.
Firstly, a little on coffee in Indonesia (from Wikipedia):
Indonesia is the worlds fourth largest producer of coffee, with the island origins micro climate well suited to growth and production. Just over half the production is consumed domestically.
In general, Indonesia’s arabica coffees have low acidity and strong body, which makes them ideal for blending with higher acidity coffees from Central America and East Africa.
The islands of The Sunda Region are divided up between four countries: Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, and Malaysia, with much of the territory Indonesian.
A great article on Sprudge about Indonesian Coffee would be well worth reading for a little more understanding about the region and its coffee production and processing. From “Always An Exception”: Inside The Rising Tide of Indonesian Coffee:
Since Indonesia consists mostly of smallholder farms, change is bound to be gradual; but this isn’t stopping some producers from stepping up, changing quality, and differentiating themselves. With their continuing effort, we can expect to see more and more exciting coffees coming out of Indonesia.
Information courtesy of Ministry Grounds:
- Region: Sunda
- Producer: Small Holding Farmers
- Varietals: Typica and Bourbon
- Processing: Honey processed
- Altitude: 1400m
- Tasting notes: floral bouquets and sweet spices
This particular coffee from small holding farmers in the region of Sunda is named after an ancient Indonesian ruler Prabu Bunisora.
The coffee was roasted as two separate batches, one for filter and one for espresso in my trusty backyard roasting setup.
The espresso roast came out pretty well, a lovely even roast if I do say so myself – I had high hopes for this one. The filter roast? That one got away from me just a little, and therefore ended up somewhat darker than intended. Never mind, it was never likely to go to waste.
With milk in my morning latte, the Bunisora produced a nice full-bodied cup, with notes of spice, cocoa and a hint of honey to the profile. As espresso, again, similar spices, however the floral notes were more pronounced with perhaps a hint of jasmine here? With milk or without, this coffee was big on body, which probably blunted the subtle flavours just a little.
Brewed using the V60 or Aeropress was perhaps a little surprising, as to be honest, some Indonesian coffees I have brewed in the past were more reminiscent of “earthy” as in “forest floor”. Here though, I had written in my notes: black tea (perhaps a little jasmine), floral, and to a lesser extent, earthy with a little chocolate (more so than the espresso roast).
I must admit however, during the couple of weeks I have been sampling this coffee, I began running my filter grind through a fine sieve prior to brewing. To say it transformed the brew is an understatement, however that is a post for another day.
As any regular reader of these What’s Brewing posts will know, rarely do I complain about what I have consumed – and I am not about to start now.
The Indonesia Bunisora is a very enjoyable coffee, and what it perhaps lacks in subtlety, makes up for in body, and would also therefore make a solid blending partner with perhaps a fruitier Kenyan or Guatemalan single origin.
Overall, a very enjoyable coffee, and currently available at Ministry Grounds for $AU16.78 per kilogram.