"EARTHINESS" as a flavor - what is it, how do I find it

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.

#1: Post by chockfullofbutts »

I just got back from a month in Indonesia and had the pleasure of drinking some incredible coffee that blew me away, made with relatively inexpensive espresso gear.

There's a great coffee scene in Indonesia and a wide gamut of flavors depending on the roast level, variety and processing method. Some of the best cups I had were acidic, but also had this rich 'earthiness' to them which I haven't tasted that often here in N America.

I'm wondering if anyone has any insight to this as it doesn't seem to be a typical descriptor for coffee flavor and maybe I just didn't know what to call this.

In particular, I had some coffee from a shop in Bali that was rich in this flavor. First I had an espresso blend, which was slightly bitter and acidic. The barista suggested I try a single origin from Kintamani and it had such a rich organic earthy flavor that I loved.

Has anyone experienced this? Any suggestions on US roasters that have this flavor profile?


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#2: Post by another_jim »

It's a famous regional characteristic of Indonesian coffees, especially those grown in Sumatra and Sulawesi. It comes out best in Full City roasts doen to the start of the second crack.

The problem is you're about ten years late to the party. This flavor was once considered "how coffee is supposed to taste." Every roaster featured a straight Indo in their offerings, and all espresso and after dinner blends contained some of them. However, in the last ten years, there has beeen a shift towards lighter and crisper tasting coffees. People want fruit, flowers, and wine flavors, not caramel, chocolate, tobacco, or earthy ones.

Despite that there are still lenty of roasters who do these tradtional blends and coffees; we just don't talk about them as much. Google for medium-dark roasted Indonesiona coffes, and you should fine plenty to buy on line.
Jim Schulman

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#3: Post by cafeIKE »

another_jim wrote:Google for medium-dark roasted Indonesiona [sic]* coffes* [sic], and you should fine [sic]* plenty to buy on line.

Far too many roasters give no inkling of roast level. I've abandoned many as grapefruit/lime/lemon are not coffee flavors.

* Jim just washed his thumbs and can't do a thing with them :lol:

Capuchin Monk

#4: Post by Capuchin Monk »

cafeIKE wrote:I've abandoned many as grapefruit/lime/lemon are not coffee flavors.
Perhaps those belong to tea... 8)

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Randy G.

#5: Post by Randy G. »

Over a decade ago I remember getting some green Sumatran from a known green seller here in the states. Sumatran was generally described as 'earthy.' This stuff tasted like dirt. That was too earthy for me. So much so that if a coffee is described as earthy I avoid it.
* 22nd Anniversary 2000-2022 *


#6: Post by Milligan »

The Sumatrans I've roasted have a somewhat narrow band of great flavor. Too light and they taste like vegetables. Reminded me of green pepper. Not awful like grass or hay, but not something I'd want. I don't care for too dark, but at around the Full City mark they start to get their signature flavor which can be quite pleasant. The Indian Mysore I have is around the same way. Green pepper when too light but develops nicely into chocolates and spice when roasted deep enough. I get the appeal of those types of coffees.