Coffee Review awarded 94 points to Lara Prahm's Sumatra Tano Batak in their April feature Women in Coffee: Why It Matters That "She's the Roaster"!
Lara's high score is especially impressive because it is notoriously difficult to coax delicate, sweet flavors and pleasant acidity out of Sumatran coffees. Traditional "wet-hulled" processing results in green coffee with a high moisture content and earthy, spicy, musky tones. Sumatran coffees are usually complex, but rarely do they have the bright, fruity, and floral notes that Lara has achieved.
Lara's submission questionnaire sheds light on her role at PT's and her approach to Tano Batak:
Coffee Review: How long have you been in the coffee industry, and what was your path to where you are today?
Lara Prahm: I started working for PT’s Coffee four years ago as a Packaging Assistant packing boxes, slowly advancing from there to a Production Assistant to Apprentice Roaster, then Production Roaster. For the last year I have also been running our in-house Quality Control.
CR: What influences do you attribute to your success?
LP: Everyone who has ever worked with or around me. I have had the pleasure of meeting many passionate and talented coffee people along the way. Coffee has something to offer for everyone, and it has been great to see people find their niche in coffee and give it their all, inspiring me to do the same.
CR: What challenges, if any, or barriers to success have you experienced?
LP: The only thing that has stood in my way is self doubt. This is where I go back to all the great coffee people in my life who have shown me support and given me trust in myself and the things I do.
CR: Please tell us more about this coffee, how you approached the roasting, and/or what you like about it as a green coffee.
LP: The Tano Batak is a coffee that I have loved since it first landed on our cupping table. It has been consistently delicious and quite frankly the best Sumatran coffee I have had the pleasure to roast and taste.
This coffee has a relatively high moisture content, which I combatted by charging it hot and pushing through the drying phase of the roast with lots of heat on our Diedrich IR-24. The post-crack development time was stretched out to give it lots of sweetness and a rich body.