Coffee Processing: What gives coffee unique flavors?

harvesting red coffee cherries

This is an interesting question, and one that does not have a quick answer.  I often compare coffee to wine as there are many comparables.  All bottles of red wine from Italy do not taste the same.  It is dependent on the vineyard, the grape (Merlot, etc..), the harvest, soil conditions, altitude, weather conditions of that particular harvest in that particular year, in that particular region.  All of this is also true with coffee.


Sumatra Sidikalang Tabu Jamu

Fratello Coffee is introducing a new Sumatran coffee to our clients.  The Sumatran Sidikalang Tabu Jamu will be available to everyone in early August.  We have been exploring the Lintong region this year and had recently been promoting a coffee from there.  We have been fine tuning our sourcing skills and are narrowing down the specific regions we want to work in.

We found that this natural processed Tabu Jamu had chocolate cinnamon and toffee aromas with a lingering syrupy body, followed by mild earthy and clean flavors of smoked red apples.   We gave this a cupping score of 88.

If you want to know where the arabica growing areas are in Sumatra, it is easy to find them on a map using Lake Toba and Lake Tawar as reference points. Both lakes are located in the volcanic highlands of Northern Sumatra.  Tabu Jamu was purchased by the private exporter Yudi Putra.  

Yudi Putra is in the town of Sidikalang which is situated on Lake Toba.  Lake Toba is the massive, doughnut shaped lake. A tremendous amount of coffee is grown around this lake, primarily along the Western side. In recent years full sun hybrid coffees have been introduced here.  

They take great care in the preparation of all coffee and this particular selection was processed with a Double Pick - Hand Selection (has passed through the grading process twice to ensure only the best beans pass through) creating a much cleaner, more acidic cup profile than the traditional heavy earth profile found in Mandhelings.    (more…)

Ethiopian Kembata - natural processed coffee

Fratello Coffee has another new region we are bring forward to our clients.  This natural processed coffee will be available early August.  We found that this Kembata had notable winey aromas of blueberry and strawberry's. The lemon/lime acidity finishes clean with lingering sweet flavors of black cherry and blueberries, and gave this a cupping score of 89.   You have to try this coffee as a single origin is truly unique.

The Kambata region Is located about 350 miles outside of Addis Ababa in south-western Ethiopia between the Bilate and Omo (Gibe) rivers north of Kenya.  "Kambataland" strectches far across the lip of the Rift Valley reaching 2000 meters in altitude.  The Kambata people are comprised of 100 different clans and groups that now all share the language of Kembatinga.   It is one of the most densely populated places in all of Africa and is currently in the midst of ecological crisis.  (more…)