What’s Brewing #5 – Indonesian Aceh Gayo

Young boy in Guel dance, Gayo country, Aceh pr...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s nice to review a coffee produced “locally” here in the Asia-Pacific region. This Indonesian Aceh Gayo Gr1 Organic was originally roasted to go in my Three Bean blend (see What’s Brewing #4), however I was obviously keen to assess it as an origin in its own right. Living here in Australia, there are a number of smaller coffee producing countries in the region, however most of my experience has been with those originating in New Guinea. Lets see how this one stacks up.

(Right: Young boy in Guel dance, Gayo country, Aceh province, Sumatra, Indonesia)

The Whack

What: Indonesian Aceh Gayo Gr1 Organic

* Origin: Gayo Megah Berseri estate in the Central Aceh region of Sumatra
* Altitude: 1400–1600 metres
* Processing: Semi washed, sun dried
* Harvest: March 2013

How: Latte, Aeropress, V60

Dry Aroma – Probably best described as spicy/herby with floral notes, mingled with brown sugar

Latte – Does surprisingly well through milk. I would not say there is a lot of body, though definitely enough to give it some punch, carry through the chocolatey undertones and floral notes. Performed better than expected here.

Aeropress – Very well suited to this form of brewing, possibly even shading the V60 in allowing the herb and floral flavours to come to the fore. Made me think a little of dandelion. The only negative here is it probably lacks a little sweetness.

V60 – Smooth, very smooth. Shows more sweetness than the Aeropress however a little less of the herbal and floral notes. The medium body and a crisp finish make this a very enjoyable brew overall.

Conclusion; Know this:
Though assessed across the three methods above, you may note no Espresso. No conspiracy here, I have simply been playing with the V60 a little more (or a lot judging by the dwindling filters), having only purchased this a couple of weeks ago. I had high hopes for this variety given it is a “local”, and certainly was not disappointed. This is one of the best all rounders across the different brewing methods I have had in recent times, and would highly recommend this either on its own or in a [blend](What’s Brewing #4).

Overall rating: 4.5/5

What’s Roasting #4 – Brazil, Guatemala, Indonesia

English: Tz'utujil men hanging around Santiago...

Men of Santiago de Atitlan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In keeping with my plans to create some tasty coffee blends, I recently roasted what will hopefully bring me closer to achieving a great all round blend, suitable for the variety of brewing methods I use to consume my roasts.

Three separate batches were roasted recently on a Sunday afternoon in the backyard:

  1. Brazil Moreninha Foremosa Natural
  2. Guatemala Atitlan Small Producers
  3. Indonesian Aceh Gayo Gr1 Organic

Fast facts on these varieties (courtesy Ministry Grounds):

Coffee was bought to Brazil in 1727 from French Guiana, by Captain- Lieutenant Francisco de Melo Palheta. Legend has it, that Francisco de Mello charmed the French governor’s wife and she buried coffee seeds in a bouquet of flowers and that is how the cultivation of coffee began.

Santiago Atitlan is a ‘place of much water’ according to historian Jorge Luis Arreola, with five villages around a lake all producing coffee.

The Aceh Province of the Indonesian archipelago’s northern island of Sumatra, was hindered by conflict with the GAM independence movement until 2005. The effect of the Tsunami in 2004 literally sucked the life out of the rebels with estimates of 25,000 killed. The effect forced through a peace agreement that has achieved some stability. By 2006 the area was safe to visit and the high quality coffee industry was accessible again.

One of the primary aims of combining the three varieties above is to power the blend with the deeper chocolate flavours and stronger body of the Brazilian, whilst allowing the crisper acidity of the Guatemalan and floral flavours of the Indonesian to remain. I’m hoping the Brazilian will provide enough body to make the blend work in a milk based drink, and as suggested by Neil at Ministry Grounds:

This is fine drinking as an SO, but is also a great base for a top-notch blend!

Lets hope so! Tasting review to follow soon.