Brian Beyke

Thou Mayest Coffee Roasters - Sumatra Mandheling

Brian Beyke

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If you are just joining in with us, It has been a heck of a week.  We’ve spent some good time with the folks of Thou Mayest, and I genuinely appreciate them sharing their art and passion with me.  Below (or above, I’m not sure how this comes across your feed) you will find a background video and several previous coffee offerings we’ve looked at from this Kansas City roaster.  We got a taste of both their natural Ethiopian as well as their washed Yirgacheffe, then moved over to the west and got a taste of Guatemala and Colombia.  What started in Bo’s garage, roasting coffee, drinking beer, and talking about meaningful things in life has grown to something bigger than them, something that asks you to step out and be a part of.

I hope that as their shop sets sail and as people learn more about them, that more lives are impacted over the cups they serve and roast in Kansas City and afar.  But alas, The tour de Thou Mayest must come to a close, and we will do so with their last offering, their Sumatra Mandheling.  

Details:

Roaster: Thou Mayest Coffee Roasters

Region: Mandheling, Sumatra, Indonesia 

Farm: N/A

Process: Dry process

Varietal: SL 28 and SL34 and Ruiru 11

Elevation: 800 - 1,500m

Brew Method:

V60 no stir | 14g © to 227g (w) | 1:30 total time | 198 degrees | 1.33 TDS | 20.00% Ext.
Aroma of dry grounds a bit more earthy but had hints of chocolate and sweetness. 
Brewing aroma let out a bit more of those earthy and soily aromas. 
Passed a bit faster than normal.  Carries a nose that is sweet like cherry cordial. 
Very light bodied and lightly syrupy mouthfeel.  Carries a comfortably low earthiness to the cup, delicate and harmonious with a gentle and crisp front and lightly sweet bread, pistachio and cashew finishings.  There is a sweetness that the cup brings I can’t quite put my finger on, but again, welcomed in the cup. 
Diving further a bit more pepper and other herbal elements are detected, but again low in the cup as to not overwhelm.  It’s a pleasing and balanced cup, with a muted acidity that remaining light and comfortably rounded while the pistachio sweetness grows in the cup.  The more it cools notes of caramel and chocolate also appear, but still lightly so.  
Paired with some fruit macarons, strawberry lillet and vanilla bean  specifically in my case, the coffee remains mostly transparent, adding a bit of weight to the end with notes of chocolate and whiffs of pepper in the finish. 
Clean, delicate, rounded, pistachio sweetness. 
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Brew Method:

Aeropress (Inverted) | 17g © to 240g (w) | 2:00 then plunge by 2:30 total time | 199 degrees | 1.33 TDS | 19.90% Ext. (Immersion mode)
Dry aroma a bit sweet, with a mixture of earthy notes and pepper along. 
I’m not sure if this is just the best Sumatra I’ve ever had, or I’ve just not understood them previously, or if this preparation is exceptional to highlight the best flavors.  For all I know, it could be a combination of all three.
Right off the bat you are greeted with notes a bit musty, a bit peppery and soily, but it also carries these strands of dark chocolate malt and warm huckleberry and cherry cobbler.  The chocolate notes more specifically remind me of Cocoa Puffs.  It is rich and thick bodied (but probably still on the heavier side of medium bodied) with a muted acidity and deep, resonate finish.  Slight caramel, brown butter, and nutty sweetness seems to linger around in the long finish. 
While it always carries a complexity of herbal notes on the front end, it’s balanced quite nicely with a sweetness that you find on the back end, keeping it from having that tainted experience I seem to find in a lot of Sumatrans.  While it isn’t a profile I generally lean toward with it’s mostly prominent notes of savories including tomato, brown rice, bell pepper, and notes reminiscent of leather in the end.  Sweetness drifts in and out of the cup that remind me of berries and stone fruits, and while I can’t exactly catch them to identify, the fact that they come and go keeps you diving in the cup to see if they reveal themselves more.  It’s just a really great, rich, and full flavored cup of coffee.  
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Brew Method:

Chemex | 30.5g © to 480g (w) | 3:00 total time | 200 degrees | 1.42 TDS | 20.65% Ext.
Warm and dense aromatics. 
Initial sips are syrupy and sweet, with low notes of chocolate completely covering the floor of each sip, also intertwined with a pleasing herbal bed.  It still feels a bit on the heavy side of medium bodied, with a tongue coating syrupy finish and lingering fruit notes of plum, raisin, and cream.  
This method seems pretty clear in the center of the tongue, with the exception of a few rich and savory nips on the sides of the tongue here and there.  It’s quite interesting, there is a rich weightiness of chocolate and herbals on the sides, but the crisp and sweet notes seem to enter the mouth and slide right down the center.  
Still like mentioned previously, the fruit notes stay pretty subdued and it’s hard to pinpoint, but the nod to dried fruits and berries is notable, all while sustaining a nice sweetness to the otherwise rich and dense yet comfortably balanced cup.  
Final sips are a bit more malty, a bit more liquory, and even more enjoyable.  
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Quite an interesting coffee!  This one definitely kept me on my toes, probably because I don't usually expect a Sumatra to be presented more approachable or roasted to highlight some of those sweeter notes, but I found this offering easy to drink and carrying a surprising amount of flavor that I continued to uncover.  It still satisfies the desire for a rich Sumatran coffee, but for those like me that could be a bit hesitant to approach, don’t be.  Herbaceous, sweet, rich, full flavored.  A great ending to a series of coffees from this Kansas City team.  
As a general overview from what I personally gathered, their roasts across the board were a bit softer in presentation when using my typical brewing parameters, and that’s completely fine for me.  The body may be a bit lighter, but each coffee carries really great complexity.  All of the offerings, from the two Ethiopians, Colombian, Guatemalan and this Sumatran we looked at today, have been approachable coffees, comfortable to drink and share a few conversations over.
The way is open, what are you waiting for?

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.