Tensions run high each year as Brazilś winter kicks in. Everyone involved in coffee just seems to have a concerned look on their face. The fear of snow hitting the coffee belt of Brazil is unbearable and when it rarely happens markets just explode, prices go through the roof.
Brazil's smooth flavour provides an easy drinking all day coffee. Low in acidity proves an important component in many espresso blends. The global growth of espresso based beverages further increases the importance of Brazilian coffee. Brazil has come such a long way since we started roasting coffee back in 1987. The coffee growers have introduced many new processing methods which has resulted to more complex flavours from an origin that has been known predominantly for it's smooth flavour. Although Brazil is the world's biggest coffee producer this doesn't mean that it's all about quantity and not quality. Once you hit the famous Cerrado region at Minas Gerais turn your head 360 degrees and all you see is coffee trees. If you're lucky enough to go when they're flowering you think that it has just snowed in Brazil.
Although there are so many growers in Brazil, you can't go past the amazing flavours and professional set up found in my favourite growers Delarisse, Daterra and Monte Alegré.
Finally I got a great nights sleep in the amazing and most professional estate I have ever seen- Daterra.
Daterra was the first farm in South America and 2nd in the world to be considered "Climate Friendly" by the Sustainable Agriculture Network Climate Module and Rain Forest Alliance. Daterra ticks all the boxes for ethical farming practices and displays an array of coffee varieties to their repertoire. Louis and Andrezza were very helpful and informative, we were given the full tour of all their processing facilities even the precise optic fibre ultimate defect sensor. There is a huge timber vat cellar where parchment is stored for the special ageing process. This gives the coffee a fuller rounder flavour with more complexity and depth.
When it comes to cup profile, Daterra has the whole spectrum covered. There's the succulent pea berry "PB" varietal producing lovely bright citrus notes with subtle hints of sweet fruit flavour and an excellent contrast is their Santa Colomba series, medium smooth creamy body with gentle underlying chocolate notes. Then you have the reserves, that are the seasonal best. It's no wonder why so many World Barista Champion finalists and winners use Daterra coffee.
Location - Campinas Brazil
Altitude - 1,000-1,200 masl
Bean Varietal - Bourbon, Typica, Caturra, Mundo Nova, Icatu
Process - Natural, Sundried, Washed, Pulped Natural
Certification - RFA, IBD Organic, UTZ, PEAEsalq, ISO 14001
Aroma - Dry chocolate
Acidity - Low
Body - Medium
Flavour - Smooth soft chocolate, low acidity, round flavour
As important are all the bells and whistles so to is the human artisan expertise. This rare attribute isn't something you can develop but it is an extension of the person, you either have it or you don't. Let me tell you first hand, Mr Ruvaldo Delarisse definitely has it. When I first met Ruvaldo within the first minute I decided I'll be buying coffee from this man. He had the look in his eye, that look you don't see too often, it's the humble genuine natural desire for perfection.
The Delarisse estate is situated at an extinct volcano in the Chapadao de Ferro region of Cerrado, the clay soil has a high mineral content from the volcano and carries a good percentage of organic matter. Sitting on an altitude 1,260 masl coupled with an eight month rainy season and an average temperature of 20 degrees celsius are ideal conditions for slow ripening and maturation of the beans which is why this coffee is really unique compared to other Brazils. The overall flavour just stands out, it's probably the most c omplex Brazil available today. Exhibiting a caramel/marzipan aroma, good body with low acidity and smooth creamy round complete chocolate flavour.
The estate is owned by Ruvaldo Delarisse. In 2000 Ruvaldo and his father Ruvessi started to work towards the production of better quality coffee, investing in equipment that would enable them to produce pulped natural semi washed coffees. Improvement to the coffees flavour was soon apparent and in the second year they won their first award, 1st in the 2003 Cerrado Coffee Competition and 5th in 2003 Cup of Excellence with many more awards soon to follow.
They are planting different varieties of coffee on the farm in an effort to create coffees with different characteristics. Ruvaldo has named two of the coffees he produces afters his daughters: Natural "Thais" and Pulped Natural "Francys". Delarisse coffees are now exported to USA, Canada, Europe and of course Australia. We are very proud and honoured to have the Delarisse family as one of our growers.
"It's not easy to produce Specialty Coffee but we've decided to do it and must therefore make every effort to satisfy those that appreciate Delarisse Original Volcanic Coffee". - Ruvaldo Delarisse.
Location - Cerrado
Altitude - 1,260 masl
Bean varietal - Cauí, Catuaí, Acaiá, Topázio, MG
Process - Natural, Pulped Natural
Certification - NA
Aroma - Deep cocoa notes with subtle earthiness
Acidity - Low
Body - Good
Flavour - Well rounded, smooth
Fazenda Monte Alegre situated in the well known Brazilian coffee haven of southern Minas Gerais. With it's coffee growing history dating back since the 1800's, and mountainous elevation between 900-1,200 masl provides ideal conditions to grow some of the best coffees out of Brazil.
Monte Alegre minimises the environmental impact of it's activities by implementing sustainable agricultural practices. Correct planning, analysis and traceability procedures are in place and it's no wonder they are awarded with certifications from RFA, UTZ and Brazil Specialty Coffee Association.
The estate also sponsors educational projects for the workers families.
We walked along the huge drying patios and watched natural, pulped natural coffees being carefully agitated to maintain a consistent even moisture content before reaching their final drying stage of around 11-12% moisture. The patios looked like massive floors of carpeted coffee beans.
The washed process was full on, once those cherries came off the truck, they just dived into the water and off they went. It was just like watching white water rafting in the Olympics, the beans just kept flowing into the water and into the separation tanks, all the unripe beans and twigs floated off to the discarded collecting bay while the more dense ripe cherries dived into the channel which feeds the pulping rollers and then branches off to the fermenting tanks. It was a continual stream of coffee cherries.
Antonio walked us through the coffee processing and quality control areas of the estate, we cupped coffees with Jorge José Menezes de Assis who is one of the judges for the Brazil Cup of Excellence.
Monte Alegre is a great example of the vast differences in flavour achieved by simply processing a coffee differently. They have washed, semi-washed, Raised Bed, Natural, Pulped Natural and even an espresso blend which is a combination of not only different processed coffee, but also of different bean varietals.
Having great relationships with such growers not only helps Mocha Coffee provide you with unparalleled flavour but also years of expertise and knowledge that ensures a consistent cup of coffee to you and your clients.
Location - Brazil
Altitude - NA
Bean varietal - PB, Bourbon
Process - Washed, Natural, Pulped Natural
Certification - RFA
Aroma - Sweet gentle earthiness
Acidity - Low except in Bourbon varietal
Body - Med
Flavour - Smooth round chocolate with subtle earthiness.