Frank Sinatra sang, "They grow an awful lot of coffee in Brazil." It is unquestionably true; it's the largest producer of arabica coffee and not a small amount of robusta too. Brazilian coffee is nutty, sweet, low in acidity and develops exceptional bittersweet and chocolate roast tastes. There's a long tradition of roasting Brazil in the United States. Brazil is roasted and sold as a single-origin coffee -- by region, cooperative or Fazenda -- but it is often used in blends for the sake of cost control. Brazil coffees are common in espresso, both in high-end blends and in commercial coffees like Dunkin Donuts. Even the broken fragments of beans and the dust from the dry mills is sold, ending up in some awful coffee product somewhere, most likely instant.
Fazenda do Serrado is a family operated farm located in the Carmo de Minas region of Brazil. At roughly 90 acres, the farm produces a healthy amount of coffee each year and a good portion that is exported is "specialty grade" (they've placed in the Brazilian Cup of Excellence twice). It's a good sized operation - even by Brazilian standards - with most of the business overseen by the two daughters of the family. This coffee is hand-picked, not machine stripped as many farms in Brazil. The PN in the name stands for Pulp-Natural process, meaning the skin is pulped off leaving much of the mucilage intact when transferred to the drying patios. This is called Cereja Descascada in Portuguese. They grow several cultivars on the farm, but this lot of Yellow Bourbon was separated from the rest.
The dry fragrance has a mild cocoa smell to it along with a hint of dried tamarind. There's a bit of spice too, especially in dark roasts with cinnamon bark coming to mind. There's a very sweet set of scents in the wet aromatics, with a healthy dose of brown sugar and butter emanating from the crust. The break shows bittersweet chocolate with a note of coriander rounding it out. Fazenda do Serrado has a creamy, root beer note in the cup that is laced with an apple-like flavor and acidity. It's mild, but sweet and notes of almond and caramel add depth. This is a relatively clean and full-bodied cup of coffee that will perform fantastic in both brewer and espresso maker. It cups best with at least a couple days rest (48 to 72 hours).
Family run Conquista Farm has quite an operation. It's a mid size farm - just about 50 acres - and the mechanization of harvest rivals many of the larger, modern surrounding farms. A little more than 1/4 of the entire harvest is manually picked and processed, where the majority of cherry is separated from branches via a large chipper-like machine. Workers basically all but stump shrubs and feed them through this machine that separates cherry from branch, spitting the remaining wood material out the other side. A seemingly brutal procedure, we are shocked by the careful separation coffee cherry is actually subjected to. From there coffee is further sorted, and then laid out to dry for about 10 days. Jao Silva Campos bought the land with two children Fernando Silva and Luciano Jose about 15 years ago, and together they own and oversee daily operations from picking to processing, continually growing the farm to it's current size. Conquista Farm sits at a range of altitudes from about 1200 - 1400 meters, and is planted almost entirely in Catuai. Located in the Carmo de Minas region, this area is ideal for producing really nice naturally processed coffees, and along with careful preparation on the part of the the Campos family at Conquista, the fruits of their labor are literally tasted in the cup.
Right out of the grinder, this coffee has a nice smell of honey and wheat. For a natural it's on the 'mild' side of the fragrance spectrum, but nearing Full City you'll find malty sweetness, caramel, and bit of nut butter. Aromatics are bolstered when adding hot water, with brûlée crust, caramel candy, and a very subtle fruited smell. There's also a slight whiff of miso broth that comes up off the break. In the cup, the sweetness is up front and bold, with flavors of date sugar, molasses, raisin, and a bit of cooked banana. Hitting Full City brings on notes of red raspberry, green tea, and even a hint of coriander. This coffee has a unique acidity for a Brazil, that while not 'loud', it has an initial refreshing, mouth-cleansing brightness to it. It's a bodied coffee, with a weight and feel similar to whole milk. The finish has a dusty cocoa powder flavor and feel that is accompanied by brewers yeast. This coffee cups best with a couple days rest. We had good results at 24 hours, but even better at 48 and 72 hours rest.
Rinaldo Junqueira owns and operates Fazenda Furnas, an 80 hectare farm located in the Pedralva region of Carmo de Minas. The farm is situated in the highlands, topping out at 1300 meters and planted mainly in Yellow Bourbon and Catuai. Fazenda Furnas has a fairly modern infrastructure replete with a sustainable water recycling set up where water used to process the coffee is collected in a pond onsite which is then returned to be used for farming. This particular lot is natural process coffee. The climate in the area is ideal for producing naturals and this lot exemplifies this, producing a sweet, fruited, and rather 'clean' cup. Like most Brazilian coffees, the cup quality is bolstered significantly with rest after roasting. We prefer at least 48 hours!
This natural from Fazenda Furnas was a stand out on the cupping table. It's fruited (as you'd expect from a naturally processed coffee), but with a depth in sweetness that rounds out the cup quite well. The dry fragrance has loads of caramel and fruit, as well as a nice milk chocolate/nut character. There's a peanut smell underneath that is really much more like a "Reeses" cup, along with molasses and clove in the darker roasts. The wetted grounds have a sweet smell of rhubarb pie and dark raw honey. The fruited aspects are really prevalent on the break but remain well under control. The cup is very bodied, and this viscous nature adds heft to sweet fruit notes throughout the cooling cup. It's a sweet coffee, with much in the way of caramel sauce and pectin sugar. Fruited notes shift quite bit and include dried pineapple, green grape, raspberry, banana, and mango. It's a complex cup, and refined one too, putting this Brazil into a league of it's own. City+ roasts will cup great and anything beyond Full City will work great as a SO espresso (or as an espresso blend component).
This is a special 20 lbs sampler that consists of 4 different coffees, from Central and South America. With so many regions from these areas providing us with new crop coffees right now, it's a great opportunity for us to pass along variety and volume to our home roasters. Normally when you buy a 20 LB bag of coffee from us it has to be all one single origin or blend, so this is a nice way to split up some of that volume between a few different options. We put in a lot of work in Guatemala this year, so the sampler will consist of two Guatemalan coffees, as well as one-each selection from Brazil and El Salvador. Your coffee will ship in our regular mylar 5 LB zip bags, no fancy cloth bags like our full 20 LB bags.
Due to the special pricing for this sampler we cannot honor special requests nor accept returns. Thanks.
New crop Central American coffees are already here, and regions in South America are beginning to trickle in now. This means that we'll be working into new regions and lots as they arrive. And for now, here is an example of the lots you'll see included in this XL Sampler - Please keep in mind we will be doing the selecting and lots will come and go, but trust us, we'll pick 4 great lots along the lines of the following: