We hate to admit it, but when we first heard about this coffee, our first question was "Where in the world is Flores?" We flipped a few pages in our atlas and found that Flores is in Indonesia. It is one of the larger islands in the Lesser Sundra archipelago. It was given the name "Coba da Flores" by the Portuguese when they discovered it in the 15th century because of the colorful coral heads around the island. Well, the Portuguese are gone, but the name stayed.
Most of the coffee is grown in the Ngada district, on the slopes of Inerie Volcano at elevations of 1,200-1,600 meters above sea level. Varietals include Typica, Catimor, Timor Hybrids, and a unique Flores varietal. All of these get combined at the farmer organized co-ops around the central city of Bajawa to produce a really unique, but wholly Indonesian, coffee that we find most enjoyable.
Typical of the best Indonesian coffees, Flores coffee offers a low acidity, rich body cup that is very, very smooth. On the whole, this is a mellow, rich, sweet coffee. We find it compares well to the Timor or Papua New Guinea coffees more so than the earthier Sumatran or Sulawesi coffees. However, it has more body than the Timor and less acidity, too. So Flores Bajawa Ngura coffee stands as a unique fit, somewhere between Timor and Sumatra, just like the island itself. It possesses a rare combination of a medium-heavy body but low acidity. The mouthfeel is syrupy, but the finish is short, soft and a bit floral. This particular batch has beautifully complimentary notes of cocoa powder, marshmallow and vanilla so it's got a real hot chocolate vibe.
One last thing--how do you pronounce it? BAH-HA-WA N-GUR-a. Or just say FLOOR-ess. We'll figure it out.
Reminder! This coffee is raw, you must roast it before brewing
Arrival Date: June 13th, 2022. US Arrival: Nov 2021. Packed in GrainPro
Acidity & Brightness: Sweet with low acidity.
Balance & Finish: Slightly Complex, Soft, floral finish
Body & Texture: Rich, syrupy body
Flavors: Cocoa powder, marshmallow, vanilla bean
Grade: Very Dense, grown 1752 masl
Processing: Wet-hulled (semi-washed), Shade grown, hand picked sun dried
Grower: Seven farming groups (Fa Masa, Suka Maju, Ateriji, Paptaki, Papawiu, Mezamogo, Wongawali)
Region: Bajawa, Ngada Regency , East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia
Varietals: S-795, Typica, Catimor and Timor hybrids
Recommended Roast Range: Full City to Vienna (Medium to Dark)
Start with a Full City + ( Medium Dark), or just barely into the second crack. This brings out the cocoa powder tones. If you can't hear the cracks, then roast until the beans are smooth and medium dark brown with just the first hint of sheen as the oil emerges. For a bit more floral notes and marshmallow, end your roast between 1st and 2nd crack for a Full Medium. Expect this coffee to roast a bit unevely, but don't cull the odd beans--they add to the rustic complexity.
Royal Coffee - "This coffee is sourced from family owned farms located on the slopes of the Inerie volcano in the Ngada regency of Flores, one of the big islands in the Lesser Sunda archipelago of Indonesia. Over the last decade, a growing number of farmer groups have pooled resources to improve upon processing coffee using wet-hulling techniques (called “Ngura” in the Bajawan language) similar to those found in Sumatra. Attention to detail is exquisite, reflected in the ripe cherry selection, raised bed drying, and hand sorting done three times before export.”