The Lab

Coffee Analysis: Organic RFA Bali Blue Moon

This Indonesian coffee is named after its unique blueish pigmentation. The coloration is related to the unique way in which the coffee cherry is processed after it’s picked. Wet-hulled coffees like this are pulped, generally in small hand-crank machines, and soaked in water overnight at the farm. The coffee is then laid out to dry until the moisture is 40-50%. The farmer will bring his crop to a collector who can transport the coffee to a mill with specialized “wet-hulling” equipment. This equipment is designed to remove the layer of parchment from the outside of the bean while the moisture content is still relatively high. Once the bean is without its protective parchment layer, it is especially susceptible defects and must be monitored and cared for meticulously.

The Kitamani Region in Northeast Bali

The soil in this region imparts distinct flavors because of the proximity of Ganung Agung volcano. The farms are organized into co-ops known as Subak Abian. Subak are irrigation systems developed by Hindu priests over 1,000 years ago. The priests believe in Tri Hita Karana in which prosperity is attained through good relationships with the environment, God, and others. Subak Abian are environmentally sustainable and economically cooperative.

Roast Analysis

Roast Analysis with captured data from Stronghold

Roasting this coffee started with sample roasts on the Ikawa Pro. This coffee has about average density, 0.68g/mL, and slightly above average moisture, 11.5%. This Bali required plenty of time and energy to dry evenly without producing overly herbaceous flavors. To draw moisture from the beans slowly and evenly, I aimed to spend more time in the initial phases of the roast. The larger batch roast aimed for 8:45 First Crack and 21-22% development. For future roasts, I would aim to maintain greater application of heat after first crack and produce a darker roast. More caramelization will produce more dark chocolate and spice notes perfect for espresso.

Brewing Analysis

Brew Analysis using refractometer to measure TDS

When preparing this espresso, I used a 2:1 ratio. Extraction time was 29 seconds and yielded 36 grams. The TDS was 9.08% which means we achieved 18.2% extraction. The espresso was creamy and tasted like red apple and milk chocolate. It would be ideal for a base blend component for espresso especially when paired with a fruit-forward coffee. Bali Blue moon will perform best in full immersion brew methods like the French press that will accentuate this coffee’s body and sweetness.

Bali Blue Moon is currently available

Patrick McKeown

Patrick began his coffee journey on Long Island at a low volume coffee bar, and roasting at home. Since then he has been a barista, manager, and craft roaster in NYC.