Bird Rock Coffee Roasters
Sumatra Ulos Batak
Location: La Jolla, California
Origin: Northern Sumatra, Indonesia
Est. Price: $17.99/12 ounces
Review Date: July 2014
Extraordinarily intense and complexly aromatic coffee. Pungent fruit (grapefruit, black currant); moist pipe tobacco and sweet, freshly turned clay; molasses and chocolate fudge. Round, quietly vibrant acidity; full, syrupy mouthfeel. Richly sweet, powerfully flavor-saturated finish.
Coffees from the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra are admired for their complex earth and fruit notes that appear to result largely from unorthodox fruit removal and drying practices called “wet hulling.” This is a particularly refined example of the type. Based in the San Diego area, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters is a retailer and wholesaler focused on organic and socially responsible coffees; it was awarded the “2012 Roaster of the Year” title from Roast Magazine.
Who Should Drink It: A Sumatra both refined and intense; those many lovers of the Sumatra type should not miss this one; purists who still remain suspicious of the type should find this example both familiar (the pungent fruit is almost Kenya-like) yet original: pipe tobacco, clay, richly fudgy chocolate.