Coffee Profiles and Tips
-Learn and Enjoy-
Cupping Notes: caramel, milk chocolate, vanilla, and dried berries: medium-full body
Farm Manager: Cassio Martins
Location at Origin: Minas Gerais & Sao Paulo
Name of Farms: Monte Verde, São Vicente and Padre Victor
Varietal: Yellow Bourbon, Acaiá, Mundo Novo, Catuai, Catucaí, Red Bourbon and Icatu
Grade: 17/18 Screen
Certification: Rainforest Alliance
Altitude: 950 to 1,300 meters
Farm Information: Fazenda Monte Verde is an award-winning farm in the region of Sul de Minas, in the state of Minas Gerais. With elevation ranging from 1000 to 1260 meters (3100 to 4300 feet) above sea level, Monte Verde is situated in a geographically advantageous coffee-growing region and produces six different varieties on 573 hectares alongside 169 hectares of natural reserve lands. The farm has a focus on long-term sustainability and has incorporated an array of modern practices, such as satellite-guided precision agriculture. Much of the staff has been working on the farm for over 5 years while some have have worked on the farm their entire lives. Many workers from the younger generations took their first job on Monte Verde. Members of the staff demonstrate a solid commitment to quality coffee production and take pride in their work.
The farm was selected as a Brazil Cup of Excellence finalist in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and won first place in the 2012 EMATER, Minas Gerais State Quality Contest Natural and Pulp Natural categories.The farm is Rainforest Alliance certified and in its 5th year as “CERTIFICA MINAS”.
The farm is notable for its rich diversity of bird species, including orange and green billed Toucans, hawks, and parrots. Endangered wolf species hunt rats in the pasture and a troop of monkeys are often heard but rarely seen. Occasionally, one can see “micros” or very small black monkeys with white faces. The region is representative of three biomes, including Atlantic Forest, Cerrado and Caatinga, and the farm contains 417 acres of natural reserve.
Cupping Notes: chocolate, toffee, and lemon
Region: La Union, Nariño
Farm Association: Various women smallholder farmer members of FUDAM
Processing type: Washed
Plant Varietal: Castillo, Caturra, Colombia
Altitude: 1600-2100 masl
Certification: Fair Trade, Organic
Program: Women Coffee Producers
Fundación Agraria y Ambiental Para el Desarrollo Sostentible (FUDAM) is a 300-member association of organic-certified (and Rainforest Alliance–certified) growers that was founded in the year 2000 by just seven producers who shared a vision of sustainable agriculture as well as environmental protection and development. This group of smallholders lives in and around the small municipality of La Unión in Nariño, where the terrain differs greatly from in other coffee-growing areas like Cauca: Instead of walking up from the town to the farms, as elsewhere, here the towns are at such high elevation that the farms are typically lower elevation, surrounded by high peaks and rough road.
Organization leader Raquel Lasso has established a subgroup for women, called Manos de Mujeres, focused on empowering projects as well as gender-equity in payment for women growers in the cooperative. The farmers pick their coffee during the day and depulp it in the afternoon, typically fermenting the lots for 16–24 hours dry. The coffees are generally washed two or three times before being dried either in small "casa elbas," mechanical dryers, or parabolic dryers. The mechanical drying takes between 25–40 hours, while the other drying structures can take up to 15 days.
Cupping Notes: Plum, wine, strawberry and orange. Sweet and very smooth. Balanced.
Location at Origin: Gayo highland - Central of Aceh
Name of Farm: KSU Rahmat Kinara in cooperation with Harapan Bersama
Processing: Giling Basah (Wet Hulled)
Certification: Fair Trade
Plant varietal: Jember, Ateng, Bourbon, Bergandaal
Altitude: 1200 - 1300 masl
Farm Information: Gayo highland is the most well known place in Indonesia for it’s high quality Aribica beans and sustainably managed farms. “Gayo” itself means “nice” and comes from the local tribe which has around 85,000 people living in the mountains where this coffee is grown. These coffee farms have existed since Dutch colonization.
Costa Rica Coffee
Cupping Notes: sweet caramel, blackberry, strawberry, and a creamy mouthfeel
Region: Sabanilla de Alajuela, Central Valley
Origin: Costa Rica
Farm: Calle Lajas
Grade: 1 - Specialty
Variety: Caturra, Catuai, Villa Sarchi
Altitude: 1450 masl
Farm Information: Oscar and Francisca Chacon of Las Lajas Micromill are third-generation coffee producers who are committed to quality and innovation and are probably best known for being among the first to produce Honey and Natural coffees in Costa Rica in the 2000s. Las Lajas began producing honey coffees in 2008 after an earthquake cut off the mill's access to water for several weeks. Oscar had heard that in Brazil and Ethiopia they use pulped-natural and natural techniques to process coffees, so he tried it with his harvest that year. Around that same time, Cafe Imports founder and president Andrew Miller visited the area and was so impressed by the flavor of the Chacons' coffee he became one of the first buyers of the new process.
The micromill is also one of the only certified-organic mills in the area, and the Chacons take their environmental impact very seriously. As average temperatures rise and the weather patterns change, the Chacons are considering adding more shade trees to their farm to moderate the heat, and to add irrigation systems to combat the inconsistent rainy seasons Costa Rica has had the past few years. To mitigate their water usage, Oscar uses a Penagos demucilaging machine to depulp his coffee, which has cut the Chacon's water consumption down to almost nothing.
Harvesting and processing are overseen with great care by both Oscar and Francisca: During the harvest, Francisca measures the Brix of the cherry to determine the optimal ripeness, and picking will begin when the Brix reads about 22°. Harvesting by Brix reading is also helpful as newer varieties sometimes ripen to different colors: Using the refractometer helps keep the harvest at uniform ripeness, which is key when producing high-quality Naturals and Honeys.
The Chacons produce several different types of Honeys and Naturals: For their Honeys, 100% of the mucilage is left on the coffee, and the coffee is dried in different ways. Oscar believes that just as the roast profile will change the flavor of a coffee, the drying curve also has an impact. He wants the drying to happen slowly, which means that production is necessarily limited. "Every day I wake up I learn something new,” Oscar says about his study of the drying process.
The Chacons determine which process to use based on the weather on the day the coffee is harvested, as well as the desired profile.
Yellow Honey: Coffee is turned hourly on raised beds.
Red Honey: Coffee is turned several times a day on the beds, but not as frequently as for yellow honey.
Black Honey: The coffee is only turned once per day.
Guatemala Organic Fair Trade
Cupping Notes: Sweet and savory with almond, mild coffee cherry and cocoa flavors.
Farm: Various smallholder farmer members of ASPROCDEGUA
Varietal: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai, Pache
Altitude: 1600–2200 masl
Certification: Fair Trade, Organic
Program: Women Coffee Producers (when available)
Asociación de Productores de Café Diferenciados y Especiales de Guatemala (ASPROCDEGUA) is a producing organization that was founded by a master cupper named Noe Quintero, with whom our green-coffee buyer Piero Cristiani has worked since his first year on the sourcing team. There are 664 contributing members, 394 of whom have organic certification. The producing members own small farms, an average of 2 hectares each, on which they plant coffee as well as other crops for diversification, including bananas, citrus fruit like oranges and lemons, avocado, guava, and cassava.
The organization offers its members access to technical assistance and routinely provides services such as soil analysis, test farms, and social projects based on food security, education, and nutrition. The smallholders of ASPROCDEGUA are from several different municipalities within the area, including San Marcos, Cuilco, Colotenango, Santa Bárbara, San Sebastián Huehuetenango, Sipacapa, San Antonio Huisa, Cantinil Union, San Pedro Necta, Todos Santos, and Concepción Huista
Papua New Guinea - Organic Fair Trade
Cupping Notes: sweet with lively acidity and a heavy mouthfeel; chocolate, melon, toffee, grapefruit, and floral flavors
Region: Chimbu Province, Chuave District, Eastern Highlands
Farm: Keto Tepasi Progress Association (375 smallholder members)
Variety: Arusha, Bourbon, Typica
Altitude: 1600 - 1800 masl
Certification: Fair Trade, Organic