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Explorer Series: Asia-Pacific

For this set, we have chosen four coffees eschewing the wet-hulled method for other styles that showcase the modern scope of Asia Pacific coffees. Each processing style differs in how the skin and fruit layers are removed from the parchment, revealing how these small differences can contribute a great deal to a coffee’s overall flavor profile.

The Java Papatong underwent honey processing with an anaerobic stage. Before de-pulping, this coffee’s cherries were sealed in an anaerobic (oxygen-less) environment for 120 hours. In the honey process, rather than being removed with fermentation, the inner mucilage fruit layer is left on the parchment during drying. This hybrid method leads to prominent sweet, fruity flavors and a round body.

The Flores Wolo Wio and Sulawesi Gowa Topidi underwent traditional washed processing, wherein all fruit was removed and fermented from the parchment before drying. This process leads to brighter acidity, balanced sweetness, and a crisp, lighter body.

The Timor-Leste Daurfusu underwent natural processing, wherein the full coffee cherry was allowed to dry with the skin and fruit fully intact prior to being removed and dried in parchment. This leads to intensely fruity flavors and a juicy body.

This selection, Sulawesi Gowa Topidi, comes from Daeng Balenkang, a pioneer of coffee on the island, who helped spread the Typica variety throughout surrounding villages and forests by introducing a handful of seedlings over 50 years ago. After decades of selling cheap, unsorted coffee to local collectors, Daeng and his family began to process their own specialty coffee for local roasters both domestically and internationally. We are fortunate enough to have been able to purchase coffees by Daeng and his peers processed in multiple ways, and this washed selection - with its bright, sweet, and complex profile - is an impeccable example of the elegant coffees coming out of Sulawesi.

Producer: Daeng Balenkang

Altitude: 1300-1600 masl

Varietal(s): Typica

Processing: Washed

We taste: Hibiscus, Grapefruit, Honey

The island is regarded for its natural beauty, rugged terrain, and ecotourism opportunities - including the famous Komodo Island, home to the Komodo dragon - and contains numerous active and inactive volcanoes whose ash has contributed to the especially fertile soil. Flores is one of the newer origins for Indonesian specialty coffee, and while dwarfed by its more storied neighbors, it offers exciting possibilities for the future of the industry in the region.

This selection comes from the Primavera Cooperative, which is made up of 78 farmers in the villages of Wolo Wio, Watu Ata, and Tubu Tana. The coop’s leader, Om Leo Suri, works with the group on developing high-quality cultivation and harvest techniques that result in excellent cherry selection and meticulous processing. After pulping, this fully washed coffee was fermented for 36 hours and then washed in several changes of water before drying in parchment for 7 days. This fastidious approach produces a coffee with a distinct and expressive flavors that put the potential of Flores specialty coffee on full display.

Producer: Primavera Cooperative

Altitude: 1300-1550 masl

Varietal(s): S795

Processing: Fully washed

We taste: Guava, Cola, Vanilla

Today, coffee continues to be an integral and inescapable part of the landscape of West Java. Farms in Indonesia are typically located on family-owned land, or within government-owned agroforestry areas and leased to growers. The latter case describes the majority of farms on Java, where farmers plant and cultivate within protected forests (so long as trees are not disturbed) in a concerted effort of conservation.

This selection, Java Papatong, named for the island’s ubiquitous dragonflies, combines lots from two producer groups, Legok Kendang and Indragiri, located in neighboring areas outside Bandung near Ciwidey. The coffees have undergone anaerobic honey-style processing, during which the cherries were washed, floated, and sealed in oxygen-removed Ecotact bags for 120 hours under shade before being pulped and dried on raised beds, resulting in a uniquely sweet and expressive cup profile. While Indonesia may be a coffee region steeped in tradition, the willingness of its producers to push quality through experimentation and new methods ensures that distinctive coffees such as this one will continue to impress.

Producer: Legok Kendang and Indragiri Producer Groups

Altitude: 1400-1700 masl

Varietal(s): Typica, Sigarar Utang

Processing: Anaerobic Honey

We taste: Amaretto, Apricot, Red Tea

Though only accounting for around 0.2% of the global trade, coffee production has become the country’s primary agricultural export. The island’s mountainous interior and general terrain present challenges for development and infrastructure, but provide fertile soil and ideal elevation and conditions for producing exceptional coffee. Land ownership in East Timor can be complex, due to the intersection of tribal lands and land titles from its various eras of occupation and governance. In many cases, farm boundaries are managed at the community level, with disputes settled by village leadership.

This selection comes from Daurfusu, a 37-member farmer group in the Dukurai village community led by Simiao Pedro de Deus. A highly skilled producer, as well as quality officer, educator, and community figure, Simiao's coffees have also earned top accolades in East Timor coffee quality competitions. The group’s success has allowed them to expand their offerings and experiment with multiple processing styles, and we have been fortunate enough to feature their washed, honey, and natural processed lots over the last several years. This particular lot of coffee underwent a meticulous natural processing at the farmer level, with cherries dried on tarps and aided by the distinct dry season that coincides with the East Timor harvest. The coffee was then aggregated for further processing at the Lutlala washing station. With a clean, fruity, and intensely sweet profile, this coffee is emblematic of the bright present and future of East Timor specialty coffee.

Producer: Daurfusu Producer Group

Altitude: 1400-1600 masl

Varietal(s): Typica

Processing: Natural

We taste: Pineapple, Rum, Browned Butter

Sulaweisi Gowa Topidi 1

Written by Drew Frohn, with research support from Daniel Shewmaker, Coava's importing partner based in Java.