Brian Beyke

Populace Coffee - Sulawesi Pango Pango - Craft Coffee - February 2014

Brian Beyke

A Sulawesi offering is no stranger to my blog as you may have noticed but keep in mind, two of the offerings I had no control over.  It’s been a lot of fun trying so many different roasters’ spin on the coffee, especially trying two of them fully washed and another two dry-hulled.  This time we are delighted to take a look at Populace Coffee’s take on it.   


Roaster: Populace Coffee

Producer: Various smallholders

Origin: Pango-Pango, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Varietal: Typica derivatives

Elevation: 1,400-1,600 mas

Process: Washed

Brew Method:

Clever | 34g © to 493g (w) | 3:35 then drop | 202 degrees

Dry aroma is a little grassy, a little soily, and a minute amount of floral.

Vegetal wet aroma - tobacco, cherry, and lemongrass.

Nose of cherry cordial - a little grassy, a little grainy.

The first sips taste like a bite out of an Almond Joy.  

Coconut is apparent along with brown sugar.  Very narrow mouthfeel that goes right down the throat.

There is a noticeable acidity but it is very light.  Lychee fruit noticeable to a tea-like body with grassy hints in the finish.

As it cools the coconut begins to dissipate and a find a lime acidity stand out more, but with cherry cordial and grapefruit flavors jumping out.  Slight widening across the front top teeth line.

Further it begins to grow more juicy - raisin, pear, kiwi all appearing and a slight woodiness develops in the finish.

Bright, juicy, tart acidity, lasting sweetness.  


Brew Method:

Woodneck | 30g © to 420g (w) | 3:40 total time | 200 degrees (preferred method)

Huge floral and peach candy tones unlike anything I’ve tasted.  It reminds me of peach sorbet.  A little raspberry is there too, along with kiwi.  

Actually the more I think about it, it basically tastes like rainbow sorbet.

Clean and light bodied.  

Earthy undertones tangled with brown sugar notes and finishing the cup with a spreading mouthfeel and lime acidity.

Mid cup it morphs with huge cherry notes coming through, still with the same deep finish.

As it cools down further it becomes very delicate.  Soft coconut notes arrive with now slightly more subtle cherry, peach, lime and raspberry.

A prickly acidity is detected with sweet creaminess to the finish of an otherwise silky tea-like cup.

There is a really low-lying earthiness to it reminiscent of wood and leaves in the long finish.  

Peachy, delicate, prickly acidity.  


Brew Method:

V60 no stir | 34g © to 453g (w) | 3:35 total time | 200 degrees

Still hits at first with those peach notes found in the woodneck with an underlying chocolate and wooded layer.

Cherry, apple, and pear seem to swim around as it sits in the mouth.

Clean and light bodied, but it carries a decent weight to it with those noticeable chocolate strands.  Raspberry and orange flavors seem to tingle around the edges of the mouth tied to a tart acidity that seems to be strengthening as the cup grows juicier. 

Cream flavors seem to jump in the cup along side the fruits that splash on the tongue then fade into a drying mouthfeel with the acidity lingering after.

Overall it was similar to the woodneck, maybe a tad less articulated.  


While keeping with a similar profile I’ve come to know from other Sulawesi offerings, Populace’s Pango Pango added some really neat experiences in the cup that I wasn’t expecting.  Overall I still don’t think you can go wrong with a Sulawesi at just about any roast level that I’ve experienced, but Populace was able to evoke some really cool lighter fruit profiles without sacrificing much experience with the body and rustic tones.  

Co-host of the I Brew My Own Coffee Podcast and always has all the chocolate. I also love to play board games. Yea, let's go do that right now.