This is where all our coffee journey begin. West Java has deep history with Arkib. It is first coffee origin that we visited back in 2018. Back then we went for a coffee trip just to learn more about coffee supply chain and 'take a break' from hectic city life. We visited few coffee farms mostly located In West Java such as Ciwidey, Papandayan and Garut. It is an eye-opening to see coffee farmer daily routine life from wake up in super early morning taking 1-2 hours trip to coffee farm, spend next 6-8 hours just to pick the cherries and continue to process picked cherries at wet mill at nighttime. It such tremendous hard work and definitely not a life for common people. We started to look specialty coffee from different perspective, it is no longer about the coffee score and price. It is more lean towards humanity and sustainability practice. We feel 'obligated' to grow together with farmers who are seeking to improve their life with producing great coffee. This is the point where we decided in future to do direct trade with farmers.
This beautiful coffee was introduced by our roaster friend William from Space Roastery. His roastery is a top-notch coffee roaster in Indonesia and well known for roasting excellent Indonesian coffee. He mentioned there is an outstanding coffee produced by a farmer located in Gunung Halu area. In our last West Java trip, we manage to taste few cups of West Java coffee and Gunung Halu was one of the delicious cup we ever tried. Hearing his words and reminiscent West Java origin trip experience, Halu has become our top selection for West Java coffee.
We get in touch with Deni Ramdani who is a coffee farmer that producing this beautiful coffee and bought his latest harvest coffee. It is easy to get coffee farmers excited when we negotiate to buy the coffee, but it is rare to see coffee farmers that get excited when we are talking about coffee farm stuff. Deni definitely is a future Indonesia coffee farmer. All our conversation more towards a topic like what we can do to improve coffee quality, what other projects he will do in next harvest, what kind of machine and technic that we can use or implement to improve coffee processing efficiency and list goes on. It is just coffee purist conversation, we just love the details of specialty coffee
For Arkib offering we settle for Halu Sigararutang honey process since we quite interested in Sigararutang varietal. Sigararutang mean 'segera bayar hutang' meaning it quickly repays debt. This particular varietal required shorter time compare common local varietal to start produce coffee cherries which help farmer to get back their money quicker than usual. Beside that Halu Deni coffee has unique tropical any winey flavors produced by honey process. The green bean smell exactly smell like caramelized banana. Such interesting coffee produced by excellent coffee producer Deni Ramdani. Well done sir!
If take my hats off to William from Space Roastery for introduced this coffee to me. In my opinion, this is an avant-garde Indonesia coffee. It tastes very wild and not your ordinary daily coffee. I have roasted many Indonesia coffee but there is no Indonesia coffee that take a long time like Halu Deni for me to finalize the roast profile. After spent few months roasting this coffee, we start to understand the behavior of Halu green bean. The coffee arrive after 3-4 months after harvest season, and it still tastes very fresh. The acidity is a bit wild and sometimes is too sharp even though at medium roast. After 'rest' the green bean for another few months we found out the coffee taste getting sweeter and acidity quality start to taking shape toward complex ripe fruits. We decided now is at suitable period to release Halu Deni as espresso coffee.
This coffee is so brittle which make it tricky for medium or medium dark roast. We noticed the coffee easily to get oily even though at medium or medium dark. So we are using gentle roasting approach to develop the coffee without breaking too much coffee cell. The roasting time slightly longer, but we keep the development percentage a bit low than usual. The result shining surface medium roast Halu coffee. The winey and banana aroma taking over our nose once we release the coffee.
Halu Deni taste so intense as espresso. It has high clarity of maple syrup with complex concord grape acidity sensation. The malic acidity change from green mango on filter roast to banana sorbet on espresso roast. It is interesting to see how flavors change, but quality remain the same with different roast profile. This coffee is intense on espresso and excellent to serve with milk. We recommend enjoy it on flat white for overall drinking experience.
- Helmi -