Aurea dry-processed is nice for espresso or brewed coffee. A simple, low acid cup with creamy body, very nutty in the light roast and chocolate in the dark roasts, banana and melon in the aroma. City+ to Full City + or darker.
Fazenda Aurea is in a region called Serra do Salitre, a high plain in Cerrado Miniero, Minas Gerais state. It's the same area where we bought the competition-winning natural dry process Fazenda Rio Paran of Ricardo Torezan a couple years back. At 1200 meters, the Serra do Salitre has better altitude than most of Cerrado proper, which averages 800-900 meters for coffee production. It's a coffee that is widely available - it's no microlot here. But when there is a better lot, it can do everything I want a Brazil to do, and at a price that is comfortable. In fact, many Brazils should cost less than other origins, because these coffees from Cerrado are mechanically harvested, and prepared for exports en masse. Done well, mechanical harvesting is brilliant. But how many areas have the flat topography for this technique?: very few. We like this coffee for its consistency and as a blend base (although it is respectable as a straight roast as well). It works very well for espresso. It roasts well, evenly, especially for a dry process. Larger farms like Aurea use mechanical harvesters, something I used to have a bias against but seeing the results of this on my last trip to Brazil, it changed my mind. It's not like you can use machines to pick coffee anywhere - Brazil, and the flat plain of Cerrado in particular, is one of the few coffee growing regions it makes sense. The even roast hints at good ripe cherry selection. The reason for receiving coffee in the form of ripe cherry is to ensure uniform processing, and to avoid the defects that usually end up on the patios in typical dry-processing.
This is the first arrival of 2010 harvest and has a mildy fruited flavor profile. But it is also a very balanced coffee. The dry fragrance in lighter roasts is distinctly nutty, malty, slightly caramelly, whereas Full City+ is more chocolate-laced. Wet aromatics and cup flavors can be described in much the same way: Solid body, balance, low acidity, creamy mouthfeel and flavor. Slight fruit notes, melon, banana skins and a touch of sweet tobacco. This is no microlot coffee; it's a big farm that produces a lot of coffee. You need to pick through the lots to find a good one though, and I think this qualifies as one of the best from the farm. It's a simple coffee, straightforward. But we felt this lot was clean, had great body, a clean flavor profile, uniform roast and cup character, and more sweetness than anything else on the table (including some fancier and much more expensive coffees). There you have it.