Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sulawesi Kalossi Grade 1

Sulawesi Kalossi cupping

Sulawesi produces only around 70.000 bags of coffee each year at around 760 - 1070 m. above sea level. The coffee beans are graded 1 to 4, with 1 being the best quality and usually possessing the best cup characteristics.

Sulawesi lies to the north of Timor and the town, Kalossi is slightly to the south of the town of Rantepao in the growing region of Toraja. The coffee trees are grown on small plots around the villagers houses and the entire family engages in the picking and processing. The coffee beans is even grown on the rice paddies that provide the staple diet. Coffee servers as a cash crop that supplements the family income.
" Good, traditional processed Sulawesian coffees display a deep, rich flavor profile similar to that of the best Sumatras but also exhibit an even greater tendency to display either idiosyncratic bottom notes (earth, humus, mushrooms, leather, pipe, tobacco) or nays taints (intense mustiness or compost pile ferment). Of all the worlds fine coffees, traditionally processed Sulawesis probably most reward the skill and discernment of a good green coffee buyer. Wet-processed Sulawesi is cleaner, lighter-bodied, and both less interesting and more predictable than traditionally processed Sulawesis. Virtually all specialty coffee from Sulawesi is grown in the Toraha (also called Kalossi) region." Quote Kenneth Davids

Green Kalossi bean versus light roasted
The history of coffee cultivation in the northern parts of South Sulawesi is a mystery. Its not known when the inhabitants started to cultivate coffee and how exactly the coffee plant arrived. Its only known that coffee was cultivated before the colonial period, hundreds of years ago. The most famous part of the coffee area in Sulawesi (previously called Celebes) is Toraja, which is the center of the coffee production area and located near the highest points of the Sesean Mountains.

Torajan people are descendants of Indochinese (possibly Cambodian) oceanic traders, who crossed the sea to settle in the Sulawesi highlands and take up agriculture. They are a very independent ethnic group, which has managed to maintain their cultural identity, reflected in their language, social manners and religion, called Aluk To Dolo - the way of the Ancestors.

They build their homes, called Tongkonan, in the shape of their original boats. Great craftsmanship and eye for detail is noticeable in these buildings. This detail and precision is also reflected in their coffee crop. Toraja is known for producing one of the best Arabica coffees in the world and is grown on the island of Sulawesi.

The Sulawesian coffee is a medium size bean, which is easily roasted - I normally prefer larger coffee beans, cause they are more suitable to achieve a great color similarity, but these beans are quite easy to roast into a perfect color similarity.

Nevertheless note that the beans in the upper picture share almost the same size, considering that one is roasted and one is green - therefore I might have roasted these a little light, causing them not to fully "crack".

Sulawesian coffee brewed on the Hario v60

I can honestly say that I very much enjoyed this particular cup of coffee, but its far from my favorite beans, which are more smooth (buttery) and includes notes of berries or citrusy. This cup contains a more rich, full body with a great mouthfeel which is mostly aromatic and herbal. The acidity is almost not present and I think thats very promising, since I have roasted these beans very light (12,5 min - at 240 degrees on Gene Cafe), so they would be sweeter when giving a dark roast.

It all is very fine so far - but the thing that doesn't get me going is the scent and taste of earth, which kind of leaves my mind off to other subjects, which shouldn't be mentioned here. Nevertheless this penetrating earthiness is not suitable for my taste, but makes this coffee very unique and gives it a special character. I will indeed remember this coffee as a must-have experience, because it kind of puts the different coffee notes in perspective and also the local history gives the cup an extra charm.


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// Hendrup

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