Brian Beyke

Ruby Coffee Roasters - Sulawesi Toarco Peaberry

Brian Beyke

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The ruby is considered one of the four precious stones, together with the sapphire, the emerald and the diamond.  Knowing that, though, won’t help you get to the bottom of Jared Linzmeier’s newest endeavor - Ruby Coffee Roasters.  Knowing that the company was named after his grandmother, Ruby Szitta, you again may think that the story of Ruby Coffee Roasters stops there, but that too would be wrong.  When it really comes down to it- Ruby Coffee represents colorful coffees, and I think rightfully coined when you look at the evolution of Jared’s past eight years in coffee.  From his humble beginnings at Intelligentsia in LA in 2007 with colleagues of his that have gone on to such endeavors as G&B, La Marzocco,Toby’s Estate, Tonx, and Handsome Coffee Roasters (to name a few)… throughout his journey he had always dreamed of owning his own roasting company and trying his own hand at really doing it all.  That dream grew and evolved and eventually became Ruby.  Still, the meaning behind Ruby isn’t fully exposed.  
Prices of rubies are primarily determined by color, and in similar fashion we find Jared selecting his colorful coffee offerings which, like rubies, are rough cut, natural beauties.  When describing color in relation to coffee, one can often attribute specific flavor notes to color - be it red or purple fruits, orange citrus acidity, brown chocolate and fudge, etc.  In the past several years improvements and experimentation at the source have resulted in an unrivaled range of cup profile and an inspiring amount of coffees with tons of character and in turn, color.  This character and the combination of notes all across the tasting wheel lead to Ruby’s perfectly coined phrase: colorful coffees.  Coffees with a story, a roaster with a story, and flavors with a story.  Today we look at the uniquely colorful Sulawesi Toarco Peaberry. 

Details:

Roaster: Ruby Coffee Roasters

Location: Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia 

Farm: Small Scale Farmers

Process: Washed

Varietal: Typica Hybrid

Elevation: 1400-1600 mas

Brew Method:

Bonmac | 24.5g © to 343g (w) | 3:05 total time | 200 degrees (preferred method)

Dry aroma of fresh pralines 
Oh yea….this is a Sulawesi. 
Where other Sulawesi offerings tend to hold back until mid cup to come to these flavors - this Peaberry jumps right into it. 
Such an interesting cup immediately diving in.  It is whimsical and sweet off the front - lightly juicy and deep, but softly so.  A lime-like or controlled orange acidity is detected, but then as you search for flavors you find a complexity of vanilla, tomato, melon, cherry, apricot, peach, and pralines taking the lead in a honey kissed yet moderately winey finish… actually… it does have that slightly woodsy finish too like Sulawesi offerings of before.  
Very clean, immensely silky, and lusciously rich at the same time. 
Cooling - that acidity lingers in the cup but it’s rounded off, with apple and dried fruits also notable.  It’s quite stunning, actually. I don’t understand how a coffee can present itself so soft, so delicately, yet still be so vivacious, so rich, so comfortably sweet.  
And just like that, the cup is gone. 
Whoa momma. 
Clean, silky, rich, sweet.  
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Brew Method:

Woodneck | 34g © to 476g (w) | 4:20 total time | 203 degrees

This method has a more rustic start initially than the Bonmac, but still very sweet. It has more of a creamy mouthfeel to start the cup, molasses and vanilla notes in there as well as an orange-like acidity but more noticeable woodsy/clove back end like previous Sulawesi offerings so far (not lingering though).  Dried fruits too are noticeable, but I’m struggling to take residence in the complexity I found previously.  
As it cools you notice the shift where the sweetness comes out more, like a glazing being drizzled over a bowl of fruits.  It still feels similarly in the mouth - rich and silky - but a little less clean and articulated than the Bonmac.  Cherry notes detected, apple too - and peachy sweetness unraveling too the more I sip - still with strands of honey through to the finish. 
Rustic, creamy, sweet.  
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Brew Method:

Aeropress (Inverted) | 18g © to 230g (w) | 2:00 then plunge by 2:20 total time | 205 degrees 

Immensely bright off the front, but it slides directly into a silky finish. 
As it cools more the sweetness comes out.  A medium body and lemon acidity makes way to cherry and slightly tart fruit coulis atop thin and whipped cocoa undertones.  
Cooling more the cup is plenty juicy and rich similar to the Bonmac presentation - with a silky and comfortable weight, splashy and refreshing rear mouth in the finish with notes of vanilla, molasses, and spice. 
Silky, sweet, refreshing.  
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Brew Method:

Siphon | 30g © to 420g (w) | 1:00 pull heat - 2:00 total time  | 199 degrees

Initial sips are soft and smooth, but no discernible notes jump out - sweetness nor rustic hints.  Very clear and silky. 
Not much is detected, but what I can detect are crisp bites of apple and almost the faintest of hints of marshmallow in the finish.
It still carries that richness that I just don’t understand among the juicy yet delicate swirls going around in the cup.  
Incredibly enjoyable for some reason, I really just can’t describe it. 
Soft, smooth, rich.  
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Brew Method:

Kalita Wave | 40g © to 552g (w) | 3:35 total time | 203 degrees 

Mildly tart but juicy from the beginning.  Very balanced and nicely sweet in the finish with very detectible spices too.  Cherry and apricot notes most prevalent, with a bright and crisp acidity.
Sweetness really comes out in the back end as the fruit notes grow wide and deep, with grassy tones to the finish as well.  Plush, and still tart.  Silky mouthfeel, honey-tea.
Balanced, juicy, sweet, silky.   
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Brew Method:

V60 no stir | 34g © to 453g (w) | 3:25 total time | 200 degrees

Nice touch of raspberry on the front, smooth caramel middle body then slides right into that sweet back end with hints of spice.

Tangerine acidity still quick in the front of the cup then immediately jumps into captivating notes best described as fresh baked Snickerdoodle cookies.

Cherry notes spread the more it cools, brighter too, still with great sweetness to the back half. I’ve reached the point in the cup where the presentation, like mentioned before, is soft and delicate yet rich at the same time. This makes one heck of a presentation, as the connectors in my brain struggle to verbally describe what is being experienced. Tiramisu? Coffee cake? Pie? Grassy, sweet, and captivating. There are hints of milk chocolate, honeydew, caramel, molasses and just about everything else enjoyable in life.

Citrus acidity, captivating, sweet.  

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Brew Method:

Gino Dripper | 40g © to 552g (w) | 3:40 total time | 200 degrees (preferred method)

Such a complex web of flavors: sweet and savory, medium bodied, bright and dynamic.  Immediately I’m finding sugary sweetness meeting an orange acidity, but it smashes into the back end of woodsy and milk chocolate notes.

Flavors of peach tea and cherry tangle with warm spices (including cinnamon and pepper) and leave a creamy flavor in the back of the mouth. Crisp apple tones seem to show up as well, as if sliced and plated with a few bricks of dark chocolate.

Cooling further the body becomes silky, silky smooth. Floral notes start to spread filling the mouth, while orange kissed, honey/caramel coated chocolate bars carry the rest of the body.

MAN ITS GOOD.

Nectary fruit notes really sit in the high and mid notes - peach and berries almost, sugary sweet, juicy round cherries. All of it is so full in flavor, yet still so soft in the mouth. There is a decently persistent acidity still hanging out to, but luckily it never gets out of hand. Still, there are some woodsy and tea-like notes that sit in the finish in the cooler moments of the cup.

Besides the swirling of flavors on the front of the cup, my favorite part is actually the complexity of flavors I find in the long finish. Once cooled and as you finish yours sips, there is a lot happening with your palette long after the coffee is gone.

Complex, sweet nectar, silky, floral.  
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In my short run with coffee, I’d be a liar if I didn’t say that most Peaberry coffees I’ve tried have left more to be desired.  It left me nervous to take the plunge with Ruby when Jamie (The Coffee Adventures) first tipped me off to their peaberry offering.  After many emails getting to know a bit more about Jared and Ruby, and also him recently opening his webshop where you can order coffee, I jumped in.
If you have read any past posts of mine, you have probably seen one of my four other Sulawesi reviews I’ve done.  Sulawesi has quickly become one of my favorite regions of coffee production for the combination of sweet and savory elements - but this Peaberry from Ruby hands down takes the trophy.  Aside from the accentuation of flavors notable from other Sulawesi offerings, there were unique experiences I’d never had with a coffee before.  I found myself more perplexed than anything at the presentation mid cup where the notes were soft yet so full - rich but so silky.  The coffee was complex and clean, sweet and savory, rich and soft, floral and fruity… it really has about anything you would ever want in a coffee and more.  This is definitely one of the most colorful coffees I’ve ever had, and makes a great first impression from the debut roaster.  

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.