Review: Gayo Raja Batak, single origin, Sumatra, Indonesia.
After my last review, the Guatemala Antigua, I decided to go back to Smaak Enzo to see what else they have got in store. The choice wasn’t a hard one when I laid my eyes today’s bean and Esther Van Leijen Van Het Kaar told me something about the bean itself. So today I will be reviewing the single origin Gayo Raja Batak, which is a bean from Sumatra, Indonesia. The name Gayo Raja Batak is roughly translated in ‘Gayo the king of Batak’.
Gayo Raja Batak: Background info
Let me tell you something about this particular bean before I start getting to the tasting notes of this wonderful bean. In the late 1600’s Dutch colonists started the production of this bean in the northern part of Sumatra where the Batak-people live.
Before long the bean got it’s name Raja Batak, meaning King of the Batak, because it did so exceptionaly well. The plantations are all in the vincinity of the Toba Lake; a lake that was created by several vulcano eruptions in the past. The fertile soil, altitude and climate make this a very suitable area for growing coffeeplants.
Gayo Raja Batak: the Tasting
When opening the package the smell comes out full and I know the bean is still fresh. When I start to grind the beans the first flavours that appear are that of heavy nuts and, when smelling slowly and deep, a sense of spices and tobacco ash. This promises to be a full bodied coffee already!
As I watch the 18 grams of grind turn into a thick syrope espress, my nose is once more treated with strong flavours. The smell of fresh dirt and dark spices appear more strongly with each second. After exactly 25 seconds I stop the extraction and inhale deeply once again. Yes, this is a full bodied single origin bean!
Gayo Raja Batak: tones and flavours
The Gayo Raja Batak is smooth, gives a full bodied feeling in my mouth and has a balanced complex taste. The acidity is slightly there but exactly right. When it comes to flavours it is difficult to explain what it is that im tasting. Not because of the lack of taste, but because of the complexity. Dark Spices, Licorice and even a touch of honey mingle in my mouth but gives way to lingering dark chocolate tones. Obviously, when reading up on the flavours and tones, the cappuccino I made with this bean was really good. The milk and espresso blended easily and did not hamper the taste of the Gayo Raja Batak at all.
This bean is excellent and should be a no-brainer for anyone comming across the Raja Batak bean. While the Gayo Raja Batak has been processed as a half-washed bean (right after picking the bean is de-shelled and processed), you can also come across a Raja Batak honey-washed bean. This bean is processed with a fleece of flesh still around the bean and is considered even more tatefull. Just one last tip: Dont go easy on the grind when making an espresso with the Gayo Raja Batak. While I used 18 grams, you can easily use 19 or 20 grams as well. You wont be disappointed!
Shop: Smaak Enzo, Heerhugowaard, The Netherlands.