One of the most surprising finds for Filter and milk based coffee is Old Brown Java. I have ignored it for a number of years based on a false assumption that all weathered or matured coffee is like Monsooned Malabar, of which, I have no personal affinity for.
What a HUGE surprise in drinking this coffee. Rob Hodges of RAVE Coffee sent me some green beans to roast, and the instruction were simple, “make it a little dark”.
I have a lot of respect for the roast direction of Rob. He has a natural touch and instinct with coffee that only a fool would ignore, so trying to not be that fool, I took the beans into second crack for a minute and up to 225C. A quick look at the photo will show the oil on the surface, and the darkness of the bean. The colour of the bean is more even that the flash would suggest. (Click on pictures to enlarge)
The origins of Old Brown Java are interesting. The beans were used for ballast on sailing ships, and consequently the ‘weathering’, ie salt water and length of time produced the distinctive flavour of the brew. Nowadays, the beans are aged in a wetting and storing process for up to 3 years in order to emulate the same conditions as when loaded on ships.
The process itself removes a lot of acidity, whilst retaining the full depth of taste. I made 3 pots of Old Java, from 20 grams per 3/4 pint to 35 grams per 3/4 pint and was amazed at how the acidity did not increase with the added grinds. Old Java is a very mellow taste, with a wonderful ‘coffee’ aroma. In the drinking, there is a delightful sweetness to the cup, and an after taste of, slight herbacious woodiness.
I am going to try and blend it with some other beans and see what happens. Rob Hodge gave me a blend for milk based drink, and I think that I perhaps tried it a little too fresh, it didnt work for me. The Coffee is now 7 days old so will try again.
The Coffee plantations on the Island that produce Old Java are mainly on the East side. Im going to look for some video that I have somewhere of a plantation and upload it later.
I am not sure of which plantation Rob supplied me the beans from, but wherever the come from, roasted or green, Id be giving him a call on 01285 651884 and placing an order.