Papa Lin's Coffee Roasting

Sumatra Lake Toba Peaberry

Location: Yorktown Heights, New York

Origin: Lake Toba growing region, northern Sumatra, Indonesia.

Roast: Medium

Est. Price: $18.00/12 ounces

Review Date: April 2015

Agtron: 47/65

Aroma: 9

Acidity: 9

Body: 9

Flavor: 9

Aftertaste: 8

Blind Assessment:

Soft, enveloping, resonantly complex. Rose and violet floral notes, apricot, dark chocolate, clove and marjoram in aroma and cup. Bright, juicy acidity; satiny, buoyant mouthfeel. Flavor consolidates in a brisk short finish; floral and chocolate return sweetly in the long.


This exceptional coffee was selected as the No. 25 coffee on Coffee Review’s list of the Top 30 Coffees of 2015. Coffees from the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra are valued 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. This sample consists entirely of peaberries, a kind of bean that results when the coffee fruit develops only a single, oval bean rather than the usual pair of flat-sided beans. Peaberries produce a somewhat different (often better) cup than normal beans from the same crop, from which they may or may not be separated during grading. Papa Lin’s Coffee Roasting is a very small, “nano” roaster located in Yorktown Heights, New York, that features customized roasting profiles for every customer. Visit www.papalins.com for more information.

Who Should Drink It: Particularly striking for its range of sensation, from lush flowers through juicy stone fruit and hints of spice and herb, supported by a complete, balanced structure. Should be a quite versatile cup, attractive both black and with whitener.

This review originally appeared in the April, 2015 tasting report: Elegant Earth: Wet-Hulled Sumatras and One Sulawesi

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