I love Indonesian coffees. Seriously. The full-bodied feel and robust flavors are a must for my morning cup. After going with Latin American coffees for the past week or two at home, I was having withdrawals. I didn’t care that Guatemala Casi Cielo (a Latin American coffee) was going to be out of stores in a few weeks, I couldn’t wait to be back on the train to the heavy flavor that captivates my tongue more than coffee from any other region. So, I picked up my staple, Sumatra. This coffee comes from the island, Sumatra, located in western Indonesia, and like most coffees from that region, features a very heavy body with notes of earth and spice.
However, this week, I decided I would switch things up a bit with my brewing method and try doing a faux-Turkish/faux-cupping method of brewing. Turkish coffee involves grinding coffee extremely finely, and boiling cold water already mixed with the coffee grounds, and cupping involves using very coarsely ground coffee thrown into a cup, and adding boiling water on top to allow to brew (like a French press without the press). I’ll talk more about those brewing methods more another time (I honestly should do a full blog posts about brewing methods as a whole), but for the moment I’ll talk about my own sort of creation. The process is simple. I add coffee ground for Turkish to the bottom of my mug (very generously, often occupying a whole fifth of the cup), and adding boiling water on top. After letting the coffee brew for four minutes, I take a spoon and stir very well. But wouldn’t that just give me a mouthful of grinds? Actually, no. After stirring, the grounds will settle rather quickly at the bottom and cling together, leaving you with very few grounds finding their way to your mouth. But what is most special about this method of brewing is the foam. What you’ll notice in the picture up above is that there’s a very noticeable layer of golden foam that forms on top. It nearly looks like a massive espresso shot. And in some ways, that’s what it ends up being: One super-concentrated cup of coffee. I never add milk for this brewing method, because of the grinds, but often mix in sugar with the grounds before adding the water (because stirring a second or third time starts to diminish the foam on top).
With this method of brewing, you’ll notice the notes of spice in Sumatra much more pronounced. Because of that, this week I paired it with cinnamon espresso brownies that my friend had made for me. The full, rich, smooth flavor of the brownies was met perfectly by the full-bodied mouthfeel of the Indonesian coffee. And the spice that would be a bit more subtle with other brewing methods is perfectly aligned with the cinnamon. The full flavors of this pairing would make any hectic day slow down. Other good flavors that pair with Sumatra are ginger and brown sugar. I’ll have to get going on my ginger molasses cookies for my next tasting.