Single O Stories: Buntu Ledo
Posted in Story
Written by Nicole Buchanan
July 16, 2021
Single O Stories: Buntu Ledo
Posted in Story
by Nicole Buchanan
Affectionately known as Indo to those of us who live Downunder and in times gone by, as the East Indies by Dutch explorers, today we know this tropical far-away place as Indonesia.
I hear you ask what’s Indo got to do with coffee at LOT61? Well its home to our newest single origin, Buntu Ledo. To find out more about Buntu Ledo, we spoke with Lennart Clerkx, a Dutch man and founder of This Side Up; a sustainably and socially conscious coffee trading business, who connects farmers from over 14 countries, with roasters all around the world.
Lennart, tell us about coffee in Indo...
Actually we started out with coffee in Indonesia for other reasons. Initially we went there to help on a project aimed at reducing plastic waste. There was an idea that the proceeds from coffee would help support the project, it made sense since coffee was already being grown there. But, we learnt quickly like in most places, to have any impact or help make change for the better; you need to establish trust and ongoing relationships with the local people. We also learnt that exporting coffee out of Indonesia was not going to be as straight forward as we first imagined, until we met Adri.
Who is Adri and how did you connect to Buntu Ledo?
We started working with the farmers at Buntu Ledo about 3 years ago. We were connected through Adri Yahdiyan, he’s our export partner. Adri invited us to sample a microlot from the region; we were so impressed with the coffee. It was so different to anything we’d tried, very complex in flavour, difficult for me to describe in only a few words. It was really Adri’s idea to get Buntu Ledo together, he connected us all. He knew the farmers and he knew this insane and incredible culture of people who were living and growing coffee there. Buntu Ledo is an amazing place...it’s almost like visiting a parallel universe.
To have any impact or help make change for the better; you need to establish trust and ongoing relationships with the local people.
Can you tell us more about the flavour profile and uniqueness of Buntu Ledo?
Yes, so the interesting thing about Buntu Ledo is that it’s a really diverse coffee, which means it can be a lot of things. What does that mean? Well, commonly most of the coffee we drink, the coffee that people prefer, is bitter with toffee notes and maybe some spice, something like that, that’s what coffee tastes like for most people. But Buntu Ledo is not like this, it’s different. The difference with the coffee from Buntu Ledo, is that those typical flavours aren’t there. Ha!...that’s the reason my mother doesn’t really like most of the coffees we work with.
So how do you describe the flavour of Buntu Ledo?
Well if you know the coffee flavour wheel, the weird thing about Bentu Ledo is, except for the blue part (which is the disgusting part) Buntu Ledo ticks all the boxes. But the flavour all depends on how you roast it. If you roast Buntu Ledo lightly, like LOT61, you get tropical fruits and some tamarind and really nice honey notes. If you roast is darker, you start to get an Indonesian type spice, but you can also get chocolate and a kind of Brazil like flavour in there too. It’s really an endless coffee. So you see Buntu Ledo is really a diverse and rather versatile coffee. You can choose what to bring out in the flavour, depending on how you roast it.
Can you tell us more about why this coffee tastes so special?
Yes, it’s also a lot about the terroir. The terroir describes the growing conditions of the coffee. So the type of soil, amount of sunlight and water and more specifically the actual lot that the beans come from, all these things affect the characteristics of the coffee.
We understand this coffee is also processed a little differently, we guess that influences the flavour too?
Yes, it is a special type of process; we called it the unclean wash. I admit it was a little risky giving it this name, since it doesn’t sound so tasty, but essentially it describes a particular type of honey wash where the coffee is first pulped and then wet fermented: submerged / soaked in a water tank inside plastic bags for at least 48, up to 72 hrs. The difference with a full wash, let’s say a normal process, is that there is no additional rinsing after the fermentation. Afterwards, the coffee is simply drained and dried on bamboo beds.
It was so different to anything we’d tried, very complex in flavour, difficult for me to describe in only a few words.
How do you think the community here in the Netherlands will respond to Buntu Ledo?
Funny you should ask, I was recently in Rotterdam with a roaster, he was really curious and almost amazed by the coffee’s complexity and depth. As he tasted it, I literally watched his senses go into overdrive. He was like it just can’t be all these things at once, can it? I think if you want to try something new and interesting, and you know that by buying Buntu Ledo you’ll help sustain the quality of life for this community of people in Indonesia, I think people will respond well to this new and unique coffee.
Buntu Ledo is now in stock and available here.