Friday, October 8, 2004

Three Kings - Java, Toraja and Robusta

Definetley the three kings of coffee. At least that I knew of.
I tried this coffee in a good Monday morning in Bandung. It was raining last night and the chill of morning breeze was still around me. My friend brought his portable stove and a pan to my hotel room (strange, I have a house in Bandung but having a morning coffee in a hotel!). Then, a good coffee time surely followed.

How on earth you make a good cuppa? Depends on how you want it actually. If you wanna have a good cuppa of espresso (that tiny cup of good brew), you must have a good machine to come along with good bean and skilled operator. In a simpler way, if you want to have 'just cofee' or we call it here 'kopi tubruk' then all you need is a stove, a pan and good coffee powder.

You must know the character of water you use. That morning, I used tap water from the hotel sink. Sure, it has quite some mineral, hardness and so on. But I believe that it would be very subtle I hardly notice.

First you heat up the water up to near boiling point. When the first bubble arise from Rinse your cup (or mug) with portion of this hot water. Put a tablespoon of coffee and pour in the hot water. Wait a minute then stir.

The first, it was java. It was one of the best java I ever had. The aroma is just built nicely layer by layer but not too complicated. First a bit citrus then followed by other fruity aroma. The thick chocolaty flavour is there with no bitterness. The body is slightly thin but still there to feel. The finish is long and sweet. Very sweet. This coffe is a good pair of that traditional banana fritter and surely wakes up every senses. A nice cuppa to start a day.

Then I came to toraja. This is also an arabica bean therefore I expect slightly the same experience as java. Missed big. This cuppa is far more complex and heavy. The first aroma that strikes me is very thin chocolate followed by layers of spicy tones. The body is thicker than java and the acidity is more lively. By the time the cup getting colder, heaviness of the body added. The finish is clean and no sweetness lingers. A brisk and powerfull coffee. I believe that this cup will be a very good companion for afternoon snack or afterlunch drink.

As a comparison, the last cup, robusta. After that rich and complex aroma of toraja, the aroma of robusta is nothing to feel. A flat aroma and flavour. However, the body is there and this cup will be best as a base of other sweet drinks. Very sweet drink.. with milk..

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