Bird Rock Coffee Roasters

Sumatra Ulos Batak

Location: La Jolla, California

Origin: Lintong growing region, Lake Toba, North Sumatra Province, Indonesia.

Roast: Medium-Light

Est. Price: $20.99/12 ounces

Review Date: April 2015

Agtron: 55/77

Aroma: 8

Acidity: 9

Body: 9

Flavor: 9

Aftertaste: 8

Blind Assessment:

Delicate, soft, yet deeply and originally complex. Cashew, cedar, blackberry, rhododendron-like flowers, a fine hint of moist, fresh-fallen leaves in aroma and cup. Crisp, lightly juicy acidity; syrupy, lively mouthfeel. Flavor consolidates in a resonant, sweet-toned, though slightly drying finish.


Ulos Batak is the name applied by the cooperative exporter Klasik Beans to a premium grade of its small-producer wet-hulled coffee from the Lintong region south of Lake Toba. Lintong is one of the longest-established growing regions in Sumatra and arguably the most admired. 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. 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 Micro Roaster of the Year” title from Roast Magazine. Visit www.birdrockcoffee.com or call 858-551-1707 for more information.

Who Should Drink It: A hint of the traditional foresty Sumatra character, moist fallen leaves and cedary flowers, enveloped in a balanced, softly lively structure.

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

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