Starbucks released two new reserve coffees from Indonesia at the same time, and when I saw them both pop up on the menu board at my local store, I immediately wondered what the difference was. Fortunately, I was able to set up a little taste test so I could do a side by side comparison of Isla Flores Indonesia and West Java Indonesia.
West Java Indonesia delivered a big contrast to the Isla Flores Indonesia coffee, but since it comes from a completely different part of Indonesia and there is actually quite a bit of diversity between the various islands (and microclimates within the islands), I should have expected it. I knew that Iwould like it as soon as I smelled it. The coffee had unexpected sweetness to it that reminded me bit of hibiscus. When I tasted it, I found that the sweetness was tempered with herbal notes – but the coffee still had a rich earthiness and a very low acidity that made for a very smooth cup of coffee (in contrast to bright, high acidity coffees that I am more likely to associate with distinct herbal and grassy flavors). The sweetness came through again at the end and left me with a very clean finish. Definitely a fun, easy to drink coffee that I’ll have again.