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 night time. 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 practise. 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 managed to cup few 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 exicted 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 on 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 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. I spent 1 month to monitor coffee taste profile and make adjustment for the next profile. Halu Deni coffee is quite brittle coffee and required gentle roasting approach. Based on the quality and responsive behavior during roasting, i choose to do medium light roast. The idea to stretch the caramelization and shorten the development. This will give syrupy tactile while enhance the malic acid quality.
Straight from the roast Halu Deni taste a bit sharp and wild. Sometime the winey taste is overwhelmed and coffee it is just bit hard to drink. But wait the magic after 3 weeks, this is the sweetest and intense coffee flavors that i ever taste from West Java. The coffee tastes much balance and feel like you tame a wild tiger. The winey taste is tone down and malic acid start to taking shape with unique flavor like green strawberry.The sweetness from caramelization process give you a prominent grilled banana flavors with maple syrup texture.
Halu Deni is a wild coffee as it can get. With correct skill and good brewing approach it such a rewarding coffee. This is a coffee that i believe will push home brewers' skill since the potential is limitless. Try with different brewing tools, it is same coffee but trust me it your brewing skill will improve.
- Helmi -