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Flores 2013

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Flores (Floor-ess) is an Indonesian island that has a few years under its belt now for exporting a specialty coffee, and the Bajawa FTO co-op is starting to get a name for itself on the map.  If you like Bali Blue Moon, give this one a try.  It’s similar, but side by side, this is the better bean.  These farmers are doing a stand-up job, whoever they are (Floresians?)  

This carries official fair trade organic certification, rainforest alliance certification, and is packed in a grainpro bag for freshness.   The beans are perfectly sorted of even size, no defects or broken beans, and the color is that beautiful blue-ish hue that good Indonesians often have.  To get all of this in an Indonesian coffee is usually very expensive, but with Flores, it’s quite reasonable.  The complexity found in this bean is incredible!!  Coffee Review http://www.coffeereview.com/review.cfm?ID=3085 found everything from pecan, black cherry, and chocolate, to tobacco; and I can't describe it better than that other than adding in a subtle spiciness (black pepper?) and a really full body.  The kicker for me is the range of interesting notes that you are getting, all in one sip.  The sweetness, the roughness, the dryness, the spiciness, the smoothness -- there is so much going on that it makes your mouth immensely happy.  Just try not to smile while you drink this!   It is not a weird coffee in any way.  I tried some out on ordinary coffee drinkers, and they all loved it.  (these are the types of people who don't like my fruity ethiopias or my complex new guineas....but Flores passed the test).  If you cornered me and made me tell you what this coffee is most closely similar to, then it's like a Bali, or a Sumatra Gayo, or a nice Sulawesi.  But give Flores some credibility here.  Even though this is still a lesser-known origin, they have produced this coffee consistently for a few years now, and they're going to keep producing this, and it really is not quite like any other coffee you'll find anywhere!  It's...a Flores!

Now it looks like other roasters who have picked this bean up are doing a Full City roast, and that’s a shame.  A Full City Flores is for people who like weak coffee without taste.  No aftertaste, thin body, scant undertone flavors.  No thanks.  Now at Full City+ (a few seconds into the 2nd cracks, 414 degrees) it starts to get interesting.  This is how I'm roasting it this year.  Definitely a dark chocolate taste and nice body, smooth, pecan pie, sweet, pleasant aftertaste.  Very drinkable.  15 seconds into 2nd cracks (418 degrees) — a mild chocolate, peppery, smooth, full body, fairly sweet, tobacco, and a dryness on the sides of your mouth after swallowing that makes you long for another sip.  This is a clean Indonesian — don’t expect too much of that Sumatran earthiness.  Okay, JUST into the rolling second cracks (422 degrees), it starts to lose body, taste thinner, pick up a little bitterness, and pick up hints of burnt chocolate.  It’s still good, in fact, even 30 seconds into the rolling 2nds (430 degrees), it’s holding up as a decent coffee, and I would suggest that the tinge of burnt flavor contrasts the bitter chocolate and tastes great together, especially with a splash of cream, or as a single origin espresso.  But once you hit the rolling 2nds, you do run the risk of someone telling you, “your coffee tastes burnt.”

One other roasting note.  The bean seems to need a tad more heat than the average bean to keep up with a normal roasting curve.  This bean arrived in USA 11/2014

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Flores 2013

Flores 2013

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