This crop of Sumatra comes from the northern part of the island up by Lake Toba, grown by the Batak people. Raja means "king" and indeed this bean is the "king of coffee". Because peaberries are roly-poly, they are also perfect for roasting in a skillet or similar method, although any roasting machine should be fine (just remember that peaberries are denser than normal coffee beans and need extra heat). Plus, because these are the peaberries that have been sorted out, the beans are much better sorted with far fewer defects than you would normally find in a bag of Sumatra.
Very versatile bean to roast. If you get it to Full City (not quite 2nd cracks) you have a lemony-cedar full bodied clean tasting bean with medium acidity, great aroma and satisfying finish. Take it a few seconds into 2nd cracks, and this is our favorite roast. Here, you have a sweeter cedar. Lots of complexity. Big body. Slight acidity. Tobacco. Clean finish. However, I have a lot of customers that love dark roasted Indonesians, so we've been taking this bean dark. Turning down airflow at the end of the roast to get it all smoky and let it take off. Give it a good 30 seconds into 2nd cracks and enjoy the smooth, full bodied, foresty cedar flavor without the acidity or fruit. Doesn't really pick up burnt tastes even at this level, and to have such a dark roast with such big body is a real treat.
No matter how you do it, this is a great lot of Sumatra, and extra fun because it's a peaberry. It has such a satisfying aftertaste, and is so complex in flavor, that you just can't stop drinking it.
Even though as coffee there is little to no earthiness in the taste, as espresso, it is quite earthy and overpowers the flavor. If you try to make a shot from a lighter roast, it's overpowered by the citrus taste. Either way, this is not a recommended coffee for aeropress or espresso machine, but can be used as a small percentage in your espresso blend to give it bass notes and body.
USA Arrival April 2020
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