In our quest for the perfect dark roast melange for espresso we decided to circle back to one of our earliest beansuppliers: Simon Levelt. Where we focussed on their (pre ground) single origin beans for our aeropress adventures, we now picked up the Kopi Ketiara Sumatra for a change.
As labeled, it is a darker roast. One thing that was immediately clear is that it is quite an oily bean with a low weight. This causes quite the shine on the un-ground beans and also produces an oily layer on top of the espresso. It seems as if the oils also decrease the amount of crema that is produced while pulling a shot with these beans, but there is still some nice crema nonetheless.
The beans turned out to necessitate quite a fine grind: 1,0 on the Eureka for a proper speedy extraction. It is a very forgiving bean though, even the runny shot at 2,0 grind setting produced a very drinkable dark shot, which would have been great for a milk drink.
While dialing in I discovered more and more notes in this coffee. Where the runny shots started off with chocolate, oranges and a little bit of wood, the better the extraction became the more complexity arised. Better extraction yielded some cinnamon spice notes, and put more emphasis on the more bitter notes.
In the perfect extraction I discovered some nutty tones, hazelnut, buttery structure and even some ginger spices. The overall taste is very dark, maybe even a bit salty.
We have also tried the beans with V60, but concluded that this is really a perfect bean for a deep dark espresso. The V60 variant didn't really get to the bottom of the complexity and produced a bit of a boring, undistinguishable cup of coffee.