This fresh 2015 crop of Sumatra FTO comes from the northern part of the island up by Lake Toba, grown by the Batak people. Ulos is a bright decorative cloth worn by the Bataks, and this coffee certainly is as colorful as its name suggests. It has such a clean aftertaste, and is so chocolate-fudgy in flavor, that you almost don't want to think of it as a Sumatra at all. You could pretend it is a nice Rwanda or Burundi with cocoa flavor and acidity, and probably like it even more.
The coffee has been sorted far better than most Sumatran beans. We have found a few stones in the mix, but very few defects over all and almost no broken or discolored beans. This is probably connected to why the aftertaste has no earthiness to it. That earthy, dusty, foresty, mulch flavor that most Sumatran coffees are famous for is non-existant here. This bean also roasts differently from what we are used to in a Sumatra. The 2nd cracks start sooner, and if you take it as dark as we usually recommend, it will burn. The sweet spot on this one is about 5 to 15 seconds into the 2nd cracks. Just 5 seconds into the 2nd cracks, your Sumatra will have a rare acidity and interesting notes like peaches, lemon basil, and chocolate. At 15 seconds in, you lose most of the acidity and the savory notes are muted, but you get chocolate fudge with an aroma of dill. It's a spectacular mug of coffee, and it makes all the other farmers in Sumatra look bad because it shows that they ARE capable of producing a well-sorted, clean tasting, complex coffee after all...
The coffee has a full body (feels thick in the mouth) and works particularly well in a french press or manual pourover, but also makes a pleasant shot of espresso.
Do a google image search for Ulos, and that's how this coffee tastes. If you are familiar with Sumatran geography, it was grown by the Siliban Village.
- choosing a selection results in a full page refresh