From the biggest of the beans to the smallest, this week our coffee comes from Brazil, land of small, soft coffee beans. Although Brazil has high altitude growing regions, they’re not quite as high as other coffee producing countries and so coffee from Brazil grows faster, producing smaller beans which aren’t as dense. This means they need a longer, slower roast otherwise they can burn quickly. They also need a good rest after roasting as they have a tendency to hold on to a lot of smokiness and feel a bit fizzy from CO2 for a couple of days after roasting. You’ll find the taste significantly different the longer you leave it. 4 days after roasting gives a good sweet chocolate flavour, and after 10 days they’ve really settled down for a much smoother taste.
Much of the coffee in Brazil comes from mega farms and is grown for the commodity market, with very few reaching speciality grade, which is a SCA (Speciality Coffee Association) grade of 84 and above. But there are some small scale farmers who are ensuring Brazil gets some representation in the speciality coffee world, Olney Barreira Junior, the owner of Fazenda Santa Barbara being one of them. Olney Barreira Junior acquired the farm in 2012 and has since replanted the farm with new varietals such as the rare Acaia which is the type we have sent you. He has also upgraded the farm’s equipment and improved processing facilities to improve the quality of coffee that the farm is able to produce. His efforts have been rewarded with high grading coffees, this one being an 84, and we expect to see this rating go up as the farm continues to improve.
Fazenda Santa Barbara is located in the Campo de Vetentes region in the Mantiquira Fields mountainous region which provide the high altitude, cool temperatures, and rainfall which are essential to growing good coffee. The coffee is shade grown and, as is required by Brazilian law, 20% is dedicated as natural reserve where native plants are able to flourish and no coffee planting is allowed.