Coffee Analysis: Organic Flores Bajawa Ngura “Komodo Dragon” RFA wet hulled (GP) RNY #43156 – Cold Brew

This wet-hulled coffee comes to us from Flores, Indonesia. The coffee consists of Catimor, Timor Hybrids, and Typica varieties. It grows at an elevation of 1220 to 1524 meters.

Flores Island is 360 miles long, and is located between Sumbawa and Timor islands in the Indonesian archipelago. Flores (and most of Indonesia) is covered in active and non-active volcanos. These volcanos have contributed to the wonderful coffees grown there by providing volcanic soil, from both past flows and ash from the frequent eruptions, both of which provide plenty of nutrition for coffee to grow. This coffee is also shade-grown.

Rumor also has it that Komodo Dragons wander the coffee farms in Flores, killing insects and small pesky mammals along the way and therefore helping to protect the coffee trees.

We did 3 separate roasts of this coffee using the stronghold S7. Since we were planning on using this coffee for cold brew, we tried to extend the development time a bit, also ending the roast at a slightly higher temperature to further caramelize the sugars and aim for a heavier bodied coffee.

Roast 1: For this roast we used a medium charge temperature, with 23% development and a slightly higher end temperature. The total duration of this roast was 9:30. The results were: Aromatics of sesame candy, cocoa, nut brittle, and pepper. Flavors of cacao, dried cherry, cedar with a light finish. This roast had a heavy body with little to no acidity

Roast 2: We used a high charge temperature, with 24% development, and a slightly higher end temperature. The duration was 10:15. The results were: Aromatics of brown sugar, cocoa and cinnamon. Flavors of peach, brown sugar and apple juice. The body was round with a subtle pleasant acidity.

Roast 3: Again, a high charge temperature with 20% development, and a medium end temperature. Total roast duration 10 minutes. The results: Aromatics of red fruit, cedar and chocolate. Flavors of cherry, peach and cedar with a caramel finish. The body was juicy and it had a mild acidity. This would of been our pick if brewing this coffee hot!

Roast 3 was our choice for Cold Brew.
We used the Stronghold S7 for roasting. The profiles can be found on Stronghold Square.

Indonesian coffees are one of our favorites for cold brew. They tend to have a nice heavy body and low notes that stand up well with this brew method. This coffee in particular had a nice heavy body, with tons of available sweetness an ideal combination for cold brewing.

We then tried out our new Toddy Cold Brew Cupping. We went with a 1:10 coffee to filtered water ratio, a slightly coarser grind and a 15 hour brew time. This is often our go-to starting recipe for cold brew. It usually yields a heavy enough body to work with milk, but not so heavy that it can’t be consumed without milk.

The Toddy Cupping Kit is the first of it’s kind. Toddy recently embarked on a research study with the Coffee Science Foundation to create clear standards for evaluating Cold Brew Coffee. We all know cold brew is its own unique beverage and extracts very different compounds compared to hot brewed coffee. They are hoping to produce clear answers for why, as well as a clear standard for evaluation. Some basic reasons that we already know are true as to why cold brewed coffee is different than coffee brewed hot are:

-Although Cold Brew does not generally have a lower pH than hot coffee,​ the perceived acidity and the fruitiness is much less pronounced. If you want to learn more about the scientific reasons for this disparity you can check out this study.

-There are some solubles in coffee that can not be or are very difficult to extract without heat. Particularly, flavorful aromatics and undesirable compounds. An example of this is methylpropanal, responsible for some spicy and floral notes which does not extract well below 70F.

-Sugars, Melanoidins, and Caffeine are very soluble with and without heat and are responsible for a lot of the typical flavor profile in cold brew. Also Lipids responsible for some of the body in coffee leave the bean quite easily without heat.

For comparison’s sake we wanted to see how these same roasts of this coffee performed when brewed cold:

Roast 1: Heavy-bodied, a touch smokey, lots of cedar and cacao nibs with a molasses finish

Roast 2: Medium body, really smooth, dried cherry, cola with a caramel finish

Roast 3: Juicy body, lemons and cherry, with an herbaceous finish.

Some conclusions are that although Roast 3 tasted the best when brewed hot because of it’s fruity elements and complex aromatics, it did not have enough outside of those flavors to stand up well in a cold brewed format. Roast 2 worked best when brewed cold because it had plenty of caramelization and body to work with.

​This coffee is available for purchase here.