Toba Batak

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Toba Batak


Sumatra, Indonesia

Syrupy sweet, earthy; cacao and tropical fruits.

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This coffee was grown near the southern shores of Lake Toba in the Lintong district of North Sumatra. Toba is the name given to the volcanic supereruption which occurred at the site 75,000 years ago. The event was the largest of its kind in the last 25 million years and resulted in a volcanic winter and population bottleneck. The lake left behind in the caldera is a gentle reminder of the geologic significance of the Indonesian islands.

The Batak are the indigenous peoples of this region and the farmers of this coffee (the Toba Batak more specifically). Most Sumatran coffee is grown on small family farms who sell their crops to local markets where it is passed on to coffee collectors who finally sell for export. This lot is from a group of collectors who work directly with farmers to bypass the middle step. 

This is an Ateng variety coffee. And it's all peaberreis. Most coffee cherries produce two seeds (beans) side-by-side resulting in a shape that is flat on one surface. A peaberry is the product of a coffee cherry that produced only one seed. Therefor it's round all around like a pea. Peaberries are often separated from lots because they have different roast and taste characteristics than their twin brethren.


Toba Batak exhibits some classic Sumatran coffee characteristics. It's nicely sweet, fairly full-bodied, and leaves a pleasing earthiness in the long aftertaste. Surprisingly, though, it also shows a fair amount of brighter highlights that come across as tropical fruit flavors like mango, papaya, or even blackberry. It's a deep, syrupy thick coffee at heart with enough complexity to keep things interesting cup after cup.


A Rearranged Republic of Indonesia