The Coffee: Java Mayang
The Roasts: City +, Full City, City +(stretched drying stage and 1st Crack)
This coffee is the result of working with the local farmers in the oldest coffee-growing region in Java, and wet-processing the coffee in little batches to high standards. Java Sunda (West Java) was the original coffee area, but you would find few trees here of late. Most Java coffee is grown in the East, where the big estates are. Most Java sold in the US is basically East Java coffee. Here in Java Sunda amongst the Ateng and Jember coffees are some old Typica trees, the original Typica, which is quite amazing. This is the fourth year of the project, and we are starting to see better separation of regional lots. Mayang is the project name for coffee collected from the area of Ciwidey. The Mayang coffee is a mix of varieties, planted at a range between 1380-1600 meters. All these coffees were hand sorted.
The coffees from this project in Java have resulted in what I feel are some of the most interesting coffees to roast. Depending on how you handle this coffee in the roaster and what roast level you take it to, it be a dense and rustic coffee, or a juicy and fruited coffee, or even a combination with apricot and almond liquor with cocoa in the finish. One of the key things about this coffee is that you really need to get it into City+ at least for it to open up. In the lightest roasts of this coffee, the starchiness tends to overwhelm the cup and there’s also an aromatic wood element that becomes more of a spiced cocoa as you take the roast deeper. As you’ll see in my notes though, it’s not just a roast level thing, understanding how to use development in this coffee can really open up a lot of possibilities and help you get the most out of it.
City+ – There is some tart brightness detected in dry fragrance, a bit of that apricot. In the warm cup the body is a little more silty and starchy. There’s a tart brightness on the tip of the tongue that carries through the middle of the palate but that isn’t really in the finish. The cup cools nicely, almond liquor throughout the cup, with a big middle. The tartness/brightness is nice, but it finishes with more of the dry walnut/almond acidity.
Full City – Cookie-like sweetness in the dry fragrance with super walnut notes in the break. In the warm cup there’s a long sweet finish with a little bit of stone fruit or even papaya, a pungent floral fruitiness. The mouthfeel is still a little silty throughout, pulpy as it cools which lends itself to the rich fruited notes. It gets more and more pulpy as it cools, and finishes with even more dry walnut than the City +. There’s some sweetness in both this cup and the City+ cup that’s just begging to be opened up.
City+ stretched – Knowing that this coffee had a lot more potential sweetness and looking to take some of the siltiness and starchiness out of the body and make it more juicy, I felt like by stretching the drying stage by 30 seconds to a minute, as well as stretching the 1st crack itself for maybe an extra 20 seconds I could maybe better achieve what I was trying for in the cup. And it worked in a big way. This coffee easily has the deepest and sweetest dry fragrance and break, and right away in the warm cup there is a noticeably much longer sweeter finish, with tanginess, and a lot more of that papaya-like pungently floral fruitiness. It’s not as big in the middle as the Full City roast, but the longer and sweeter finish more than makes up for that. There’s apricot, more of the papaya throughout the cup, and even some of that tangy blackberry. The slight stretch of the 1st crack along with the stretch in the drying stage definitely give this cup the best mouthfeel, juicy throughout, and maybe not as much of a peak in the acidity in the middle of the palate but the sweetness in the cup really makes up for it. The cold cup is like chocolate syrup, especially in the brewed cup, laced with the blackberry brightness throughout.
Stretch it out folks! And don’t go too light.