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The Flores Factor

The Flores Factor
July 30, 2019

Flores is an origin we're just starting to source coffee from directly. We are buying from regional cooperatives made up of small scale coffee producers that are primarily producing wet process coffees. The coffees tend to taste much more in line with washed Central American coffees than what we might expect from Indonesia in general, where wet hulling is often the expectation.

Flores is small by island standards, just about 360 kilometers end to end. It is in the Indonesian archipelago, between Sumbawa and Timor islands. The name Flores is an abbreviation of "Cabo de Flores"; a name used by Portuguese sailors in the 17th century to identify the cape on the eastern end of the islands because of its underwater gardens. Divided by mountain chains and volcanoes, the island populated by ethnic groups with their own traditions and languages.

 

 

 

The coffee areas are modest in altitude. The highest peak is only 1736 meters (about 5696 feet) above sea level and much coffee comes from areas around 1000 -1200 meters. The milling tradition is wet-process, the coffee has a resemblance to the coffees of Timor-Leste, and Java, compared to the semi-washed coffees of Sumatra and Sulawesi. It has the potential to be a clean, sweet cup and a clean taste overall (similar to Central American coffee).

There are challenges regarding issues with the consistency and the processing practices used there. Coffee might be picked one day, but not processed until a day or two later, resulting in off, fermented flavors. The farmers also ferment coffee in inconsistent batches on an irregular basis, not a bad thing in itself if it was only done to the same standards each time. Fermenting times depend on temperature, in some cold, high-altitude locations 36 hours is needed, whereas lower, hotter climates can require just 8-12 hours. Flores can be quite warm, yet they ferment coffee sometimes for 3-4 days! This also results in off fruity notes.

Nonetheless we do find good batches of coffee from Flores, and we are working with a group who provides farmer training in hopes of better quality processing, and more consistent quality.

Flores coffees are known to have crowd pleasing qualities with well-rounded notes so roasting some is sure to result in a cup every end of your palate will enjoy. Here's our current selection of Flores coffees.

- Flores Laga Lizu Gnung Waja Mala

- Flores Laga Lizu Gnung Gedh

- Flores Wolo Bobo

- Flores Wolo Wio