Starbucks’s Willow Blend

When I think of starbucks, I used to think that their coffee offer nothing else but a coffee taste. If there’s other flavor, I consider it as a bonus. Why? It’s because their way of roasting everything way to dark to my liking. So, when a few days ago i saw a bag labeled as Blonde Roast, I know i have to try it, coz this is not the Green Big Giant’s product that I normally know.

According to the bag, the Willow Blend is consisted of Latin American mixed with East African Beans. The bag promise Bright and Clean, which I hope describe the flavor. When I opened up the bag, and spill some beans, the beans does look lighter roast than any starbucks beans that I know. It is light for starbucks, but if I compare it to the beans of some specialty roaster, its not that light. Instead the word Blonde, the word brunette i guess is more proper 😀 . Starbucks never claim to be a specialty coffee company, and it shows on the beans. You could easily find some defect it their beans, from shell, broken, to insect bited beans. But hey, not having these defect never guarantee you a good tasting coffee, and so does vice versa.

Back to the brewing thingy. I brew these coffee using a pourover method. I thing that I havent, and I know I should have, is brew them using  french press. Don’t know why, I’m in the pourover mood this weekend. I’m using a 3 holed ceramic 2 cups flat bottom and a 2 cups ceramic V60. For water I’m using Mineral water Aqua Brand from Cipondoh Subang that I reheated a bit in a small kettle on a gas stove. To what degree.. honestly I don’t really know since my thermometer is left behind at my Mom’s house in Bandung ( Need to ask her to send it back 🙂 ). What I know is for hot (normal) brewing temperature, I heat it up until it boils, wait around 30 second, transfer it to the Buono, and pour. If I want a lower temp, the waiting time is doubled. Oh yeah, I weight the water before I reheat them.

So.. without any further adieu, here are the result of these couple of days brewing session.

as pourover

brew 11gr/200ml start/150ml end/flat bottom/not too hot water (I guess around 90C)/3minutes 30 second; MORE flavor than any starbucks’s coffee I ever brew! Big black cherry with subtle chocolate, reminds me of a blackforest cake. The down side is it taste a bit sappy. But overall it’s  GREAT

brew 11gr/200ml start/150ml end/flat bottom/hot water (around 95C)/2minutes 30 second; A lot flatter than previous one. Fruit and sweetness didn’t came out

brew 11gr/200ml start/150ml end/V60/hot water (around 95C)/2minutes 50 second; Hmmm…. prefer flatbottom. Flavor doesnt develop here.

brew 11gr/200ml start/150ml end/V60/not too hot water (around 90C)/3minutes 20 second;  Got that beautifull sweet slightly tart fruit again, with sappy end

brew 11gr/200ml start/150ml end/V60/not too hot water (around 90C)/2minutes 50 second/finer ground; taste like sucking lemon peel. Not nice so I threw it away

brew 20gr/200ml start/136ml end/flat bottom/hot water (around 95C)/3 minutes; A friend of mine went to the Lauching Party, and he said that this is the parameter they use. Well, it taste like a starbucks product. Big bodied, tend to be sweet coffee with some lemon zesty aroma on the end. Its good, but bored me after a few sip. I prefer my 11 gr because the flavor does develop/change with the temperature change.

brew 11gr/200ml start/150ml end/flat bottom/not too hot water (around 90C)/3minutes 20 second/finer ground; I guess this brew shows me that more doesn’t mean better. With finer ground I’m expecting a much more flavor to oozed out into the coffee (because of bigger surface area in contact with the water). This brew is not as sweet as the coarser grind, and it taste a bit more dull that the coarser ground one.

4 Kopiku Espresso Blend

A month or so ago, I have the pleasant chance of meeting the people behind Kopiku

Anyway, A few day after meeting them, Their 4 espresso blend is waiting for me to be picked up. Kembang Desa, Gunung Preanger, 93 an Excelent Blend. Sadly, I couldn’t taste and test them up right away. Needs another 2 weeks before i got a chance to play with them. Well.. think of it as an extra chance to degassing and for all the beans to mingle up, hoping for a more unison blend.

Out of their 4 Blend, the Kembang Desa is their pride and joy. The batch I got is honestly interesting with subtle tobacco and smoky notes that reminds you with smoked beef. For me the 93 blend is their well rounded blend, still taste good as espresso and cappuccino. For espresso drinker, their Excelent Blend is the one to choose. One thing for sure, all of the 4 Blend have really thick crema. The coffee I tested is around 1 month old from roasting date

All these coffee is being tested using my Expobar Office, grouphead water temp is set at 92C, using Aqua brand water from Babakan Pari Gunung Salak Springs, a 20gr double basket, and Greenfields Pasterurized as Milk

PT Kopiku Indonesia, Skybee One Building 4th floor, Jl. Kebon Sirih no. 63 Jakarta 10340. ph. +62-21-391.8088 email.

Kembang Desa as espresso

brew time 25 ml/21 second; smoky! and a bit astringent at the end

brew time 25 ml/22 second; Sweet, creamy, big tobacco flavor, no middle notes, not too bitter

brew time 20 ml/23 second; sweet, creamy, have honey mouthfeel

brew time 20 ml/28 second; sweet, complex, balanced

brew time 25 ml/30 second; salty at the end… interesting

Kembang Desa as Cappuccino

brew time 20 ml/23 second; creamy, hazelnut, sweet, with soft coffee aroma layering at the back 

brew time 20 ml/28 second; milk still dominates, but overall ok

brew time 25 ml/30 second; weak, taste like latte

Gunung Preanger as Espresso

brew time 25 ml/20 second; bitter, but nice body and crema

brew time 25 ml/26 second; harsh at the beginning, but really sweet ending

brew time 30 ml/28 second; flat, astringent at the back

brew time 15 ml/30 second; pulling this shot just out of curiosity, and regret it. Taste like a bad tabasco! Very spicy, sour, and it stays! – curious what will happen if i mix this with mayo and making it a dip for boiled prawn… hmmmm

Gunung Preanger as Cappuccino

brew time 25 ml/20 second; the coffee is lost within the milk if you use 1 shot, but with 2, the espresso is overpowering

brew time 25 ml/26 second; taste good, really sweet and balanced

93 Blend as espresso

brew time 20 ml/20 second; This is actually done by visual. I stop the extraction when the crema just about to blond. It taste really sweet, great body and pleasant lingering aftertaste!

brew time 25 ml/30 second; Taste Harsh!

brew time 25 ml/23 second; A real crowd pleaser while its still hot. It really big on the almond notes! But when the temperature drops a bit, some will like some definitely gonna hate. The fruit notes that some will taste as acidity increased tremendously, with notes that reminds me with blackcurrant.

brew time 25 ml/25 second; Creamy but really bitter at the end

brew time 25 ml/27 second; Really big on choco and nuts, its like sipping nutella!

93 Blend as Cappuccino

brew time 20 ml/20 second; Taste nice and balanced. Coffee and steamed milk works well together

brew time 25 ml/23 second; Taste great, with big almond flavor. The espresso stand out of the milk, but not overpowering

brew time 25 ml/27 second; Dont know why it reminds me of hot chocolate milk!

Excelent Blend as espresso

brew time 30 ml/19 second; big with fruit flavor and acidity, but bitter at the end

brew time 30 ml/24 second; basicly similar with above, but fruit more pronounced

brew time 30 ml/25 second; thick crema, not balanced, fruity, nice acidity, not too sweet

brew time 15 ml/30 second; bitter with cocoa notes, reminds me of a 99% cacao chocolate bar

brew time 25 ml/30 second; Nice acicity, lack of bitterness but sadly also lack of sweetness

 Excelent Blend as Cappuccino

this blend tend to fail as cappuccino. The espresso always lost to the milk unless you pull it 15 ml/30 seconds.

membaca espresso, ketika patokan volume dan waktu diabaikan

bertahun-tahun membiasakan diri, mencoba menepati perbandingan sekian mili dalam sekian detik. Kecepatan titrasi 1 ml/detik menjadi panduan dewa, jadi dasar dalam melakukan semua.

Pertemanan dengan seorang teman mengajarkan 1 hal. Percayakan pada kopinya untuk memberitahu kapan kopi bisa dihidangkan. Perhatikan besaran larutan yang jatuh, warna crema dan kekentalan.

Awalnya mencoba emang susah abis. Gamang karena tidak ada 1 satuanpun yang bisa dijadikan dasar. Kecepatan, kelamaan, terlalu sedikit, dan lainnya. Namun entah bagaimana, mendadak di satu titik sang espresso bisa “berbicara” Kapan ekstraksi dihentikan, apakah harus lebih lambat atau lebih cepat.

Sejauh ini bahagia dengan cara ini. Dari sisi toko/jualan cilaka karena disini peran keahlian barista sangat berpengaruh, dan standar bisa berubah-ubah. Tapi di sisi lain, perubahan standar itu, bila hasil akhirnya baik/enak, tetap akan baik, karena bagaimanapun kopinya berubah-ubah pula mengikuti alam sekitar.

Buat saya pribadi cilaka juga, kebiasaan mendata berantakan gara2 kebiasaan baru ini.

Pappaco Grandpa Espresso

Pappaco is a coffee roasting company that is based in Bandung and it does most of its marketing using Facebook. I have the pleasure to meet Gary, one of the guy behind this brand a few days ago, and He gaves me a pack of his Pappaco Grandpa Espresso to try out. Gary told me that they were using a loaned 15kg probat for quite a while, and now they are using a clone of that machine, made locally. Besides the Grandpa Espresso, they also have several single origins. In the near future, you could find their coffee being sold at Bandung’s Setiabudhi Supermarket Gary told me before that their Grandpa Espresso is a dark roast coffee. Honestly I didnt expect it to be this dark 🙂 When I open the bag, a roasted aroma seep out quite strong. It reminds me with some of starbucks’s coffee I buy/given. The coffee bean itself is oily in appearance . I honestly ave no idea when this coffee is roasted. Pappaco Coffee Jalan Cisitu Lama No.33 Bandung, Jawa Barat 40135 ph. +62817 76 4114 e-mail

as espresso

brew time 30 ml/30 second; honestly, looking at the powder color after grinding, I’m deeply worried. The powder is very dark, even a lot darker than Starbucks. JJ Royal came straight to mind, and honestly, for me, its not a good sign. The crema came out quite thick, with dark brown complexion. A weird but familiar smell came out when the pull being made. One sip after the pull is done, that smell is confirmed. This coffee is roasted dark, way to dark for me, that all I can taste huge bitterness with phenolic on the side. Not a pleasant cup. brew time 30 ml/23 second; changing the brew time to a standard used by some of Jakarta roaster/coffee house.  The big bitterness is still there. Not as big as a 30 second pull, but it still there, and still not a pleasant cup to drink. Unless you are a sado masochist or those who believe in  “if it aint bitter, its not coffee”  credo

as cappuccino

brew time 30 ml/30 second with Greenfields UHT milk; at first small sip, the coffee taste seems like in no existence. I could smell it, but couldnt trace the taste. Interestingly, the sweetness of the milk also gone. Its just like sipping slightly bitter water with coffee aroma. On the second sip, a propper sized sip, the coffee back with a vengeance.  That bitterness and phenolic character that dominates the espresso also dominates this cappuccino. Sweetness of the milk is untraceable. When temperature drops a bit, cocoa powder taste came through. Not my type of cappa…. brew time 30 ml/23 second with Greenfields UHT milk; The cappuccino taste a lot better that the previous pull, although for me personally its still far from perfect The bitterness and phenolic is a bit subdued, but still presence. Very dark chocolate, like one with 89% cacao in it type of chocolate. Again, not my type of cappa… Not balance at all…

lowering my machine temperature might help a bit, but since my expobar is not a PID one, changing it is a bit of a hassle. Plus… I almost ran out of coffee. What I have lefy is reserved for tomorrow, to be brewed as a drip… 

Gar, I honestly dont mean to be rude, by not writing  sweet review, but a slightly harsh one. I hope you can take this not so great review and using it to make your product into better one. 

Quintino’s Sumatra Mellow

I know this coffee (and the roasting company) for quite a loong time, and I’ve been playing with their coffee, either the Single Origins, or the Blend for quite some time. IMHO I consider Quintino’s as one of the best roaster around. I drank them personally, and use them in Javva, and many coffee shops that I help build. Why Quintino’s? well… Joe, the big (and literally big) guy behind this brand is passionate about his product. Passionate enough, that whenever I have “problems” with his bean, whether changing flavor profile, old beans, or whatever, I can call them up and have a satisfactory response.

Sumatra Mellow is what build Quintino ‘s at the first place. I remember when I went there years ago, the only choice is either Sumatra Mellow, or Sumatra Mellow 🙂 Now they have variety’s of Single Origins you can choose from, From Aceh to as far as Papua. Although I’ve been playing with it for years, as espresso, french press, tubruk, flatbottom pourover, you name it. But this morning, is the first time I brew this coffee using a V60.

PT Quintino’s Djava. Jl. Radio Dalam Raya No. 99 Jakarta 12140. ph. +62.21.722.3437 fax +62.21.722.3440 email

as pourover

brew V60/10gr/200 ml (start) 150 ml (result)/± 92 C water/2 min 30 sec; the aroma is incredible, there’s note that I never smell/tasted before. Bright with big red plum type acidity at front, nice stable flavor all the way, fruity sweet, with nice cocoa powder ending

brew V60/10gr/200 ml (start) 150 ml (result)/± 92 C water/3 min; this one reminds me with the one I usually brew using a flatbottom. Although its still very nice, there that hint of bitterness that’s coming out. The brightness is gone so as the big red plum type of acidity is also disappear. The acidity now came as lime rind type (the skin and the white part of lime skin) but its still pretty sweet with bigger cocoa powder notes in it

brew V60/10gr/200 ml (start) 150 ml (result)/± 92 C water/2 min; at first, this is not a good brew. Taste like water you have after boiling some peanuts. After the temperature drops, acidity is lurking a bit. A lime zest type.  but still that doesnt make it into become an interesting cup

brew V60/10gr/200 ml (start) 150 ml (result)/± 92 C water/2 min; nope, you’re not seeing double. This time I adjust the grinder, make it finer, but pouring faster. The result is interesting. The brew is very sweet. Just sweet. Almost no bitterness, and no acidity. Interesting…. When the temperature have drop, the acidity is coming out, more on the orange candy type, and it become a very nice cup. (I wonder what will happen if I chilled it and making it iced coffee?)

Qertoev Coffee Gayo (from Bener Meriah region)

Qertoev is a small green bean trader owned and run by 1 of Gayo’s multi generation  farmer family. This 200 something gram sample is said being roasted using a Gene Cafe. This particular bean is at 1 time being offered to be bought by a roaster in Jakarta at US$10,8/kg. Price is sky high because of it’s unique flavor (and failing crop all over indonesia – at that time, unsorted bean on the farmer side is around US$7/kg). I wish I could have some more to play with it, seeing how it behaves under different situation/brewing method.

Qertoev Coffee – Gayo Specialty Coffee. Menjangan III A no. 17 Pd. Ranji Ciputat Timur. Ph/Fax +62.21.7410.539 email:

as Tubruk/Cupping Method

brew 10 gram/200 ml/±92 C water/4 minutes; Couldnt believe when being told this one is a Gayo. Very Floral, Rose water aroma, with big sweetness being balanced by bright orange flavor. Medium Body, clean finish. Honestly its very unlike Gayo, but damn good

as Pourover

brew 10 gram/200ml start/150ml end/±95 C water/flat bottom/±3 minutes; not as beautifull as a Tubruk. No Floral notes, tend to be very bright, the sweetness is there but but as big as expected, med to low body, very clean finish. When cold, the brew is very-very bright. Iced lemon tea bright!

as Single Origin Espresso

brew time 30 ml/20 second; Whooaa although d pull is way 2 fast, I love qertoev’s gayo as SingleOriginEspresso. Very bright, like iced lemon T w/ big cocoa notes @ end

Fantini Coffee (old italian blend coffee salvaged from a closed down minimart storage room)

as Espresso

brew time 30 ml/30 second; Having a textbook extraction of old Fantini , harsh bitterness infront, then sweet creamy chocolate with zing of lemon. Not bad 4 old coffee.  Brewing 1 of d most beautifull crema color I’ve ever seen, n it came from God knows how old cafe Fantini extra bar salvaged from a minimart. Thick even reddish brown crema, with shiny surface, and its stays for quite a while. Something I seldom c in espresso made using Indo beans.

brew time25 ml /30 second; tried 2 pull it shorter at longer extraction time, harshness infront gone, a bit smoother, but d beautiful flavour also gone

as Cappuccino

brew time 30 ml/30 second with Greenfileds UHT milk; when being asked what a decent cappuccino suppose to taste like, I have to say probably like this. You can taste a balance cup of creamy sweet milk, big chocolate notes, big coffee aroma, but lack of bitterness. Not one of those “damn I want another 1” type of drink, but it will glide nicely in yourmouth, prepping you for a brand new day (if ur italian that drinks a cappa before 11 am 😀 )

Sari Prima Wamena Papua Coffee

Sari Prima is one of Jayapura’s old roasting company. Although I have received a couple bag of this coffee as a gift over the years, this is the first time I received them as beans.  Having it as beans give me small freedom to play with it, brewing it in whatever method I want.  3 months ago, Sari Prima is setting up a distribution company in Jakarta, and now coffee drinker in Jakarta could find them in supermarkets such as Grand Lucky, Hero Kemang, and Giants. Kem Chick and Ranch Market is coming soon, said Mr. Roy Rindorindo, Jakarta’s office proprietor. Coffee are still shipped from papua as roasted bean.

Sari Prima – Papua Specialty Coffee. Jl Kucica 10 Blok JF 7/21 Bintaro sektor 9 Tangerang Selatan. ph. +62.21.745.5963 or 0878.8103.5092 email

as Single Origin Espresso

brew time 30 ml/26 detik; cawerang alias wattery, d citrus is still there, but body, sweetness n choco notes none

brew time 30 ml/30 detik; very citrusy, pomelo like, with big choco @ d end

brew time 25 ml/25 detik; cakep abis. nice body, sweet yet citusy more cocoa than chocolate. I Like!

as cappuccino

brew time 30 ml/30 detik with diamond milk; very interesting as a cappuccino, although some people might think that d milk have gone bad 😛 acidity is marvelous thing. Sweet with big citrus notes, with nice soft milk chocolate ending. No bitterness at all.

as pourover

brew V60/10gr/200 ml (start) 150 ml (result)/± 92 C water/2 minutes; nice clean tasting while hot, medium body, sweet. Aroma develop more when temperature drop a bit. Dark cherries, lemon zest, caramelly sweet. Clean finish

brew V60/10gr/200 ml (start) 150 ml (result)/± 92 C water/2 min 30 sec; not as clean as the 2 minutes brew, have more body, there’s a hint of harshness in it. After it cools down a bit, it becomes winey, big burnt caramel, and dark cherries. Acidity is very low at this point. Finish is a bit harsh but it last.

brew flat bottom/10gr/200 ml (start) 150 ml (result)/± 92 C water/2 min 15 sec; hint of citrus with  milk chocolate and ripe tropical fruit, but sadly no dark cherries like when brewed using a  V60

brew flat bottom/10gr/200 ml (start) 150 ml (result)/± 92 C water/3 min 10 sec; big cocoa notes at first, very ripe tropical fruits, but no sweetness n acidity