Brazil, BSCA Fazenda Samambaia 100% Topazio
- Farm: Fazenda Samambaia
- Varietal: Topázio (yellow bourbon)
- Processing: Pulped natural, dried on patio
- Altitude: 1,200 metres above sea level
- Owner: Henrique Dias Cambraia
- Town/City: Santo Antônio do Amparo
- Region: Sul de Minas Gerais
The cool, green hills of Sul de Minas provide ideal conditions for coffee growing and produce some of Brazil’s finest specialty lots.
Henrique Dias Cambraia, owner and manager of Fazenda Samambaia, attributes the success of his farm to a combination of factors including the farm’s location at 1,200m above sea level, a steady cool climate averaging 21°C, constant training andthe involvement of the whole team that works on the farm. Henrique is committed not only to producing high quality coffee, but to farming in a way that is socially responsible and environmentally sustainable.
The single varietal lots are carefully demarcated and processed separately in order to ensure traceability. Cherries are only harvested when they are fully ripe. After pulping, rather than being soaked and washed, the beans are immediately transferred to the patios for drying with the bean’s sticky outer mucilage still attached. This adds more complex and fruity flavours.
Fazenda Samambaia has won many awards for its coffee, including 13th place in the 2001 Cup of Excellence.
Single-estate Brazilian coffees commonly have a sweetness and notes of chocolate and nuts. This example adds a touch of tropical fruit and is very smooth drinking. A coffee with many subtleties to appreciate and enjoy, and one in which you will continue to discover new pleasures.
Roasting this coffee is a balance between preserving the complexity of flavours and developing sufficient body and mouth-feel. Lighter roasts work well in filters and presses while espresso benefits from a slightly darker roast with more emphasis on body.
Colombia, Grupo Pavón Smallholders, Urrao
- Farm: smallholder farmers
- Varietal: Caturra Colombia
- Processing: Fully Washed and dried on African beds
- Altitude: 1,900 & 2,100 meters above sea level
- Owner: 20 members of the Cooperativa de caficultores de Salgar
- Town/City: Pavón
- Region: Urrao, Antioquia
This coffee has been produced by 20 small holder coffee producers, collaborating under the name Grupo Pavón, all of whom are members of Cooperativa de caficultores de Salgar (Coocafisa), a large Colombian cooperative that represents some 3,000 growers across Antioquia.
While the region is known for agriculture, it is less identified with coffee, and because of the remote location and the violence, the area has been slow to develop the necessary infrastructure for specialty production. With the steps towards normalisation between FARC and the Colombian Government however, some small scale producers in the region have seized the opportunity and begun to make the most of their location – which presents the perfect conditions for high quality coffee.
Grupo Pavón was heavily inspired by Jose Arcado of Finca la Falda, two-time winner of Cup of Excellence and, coincidentally, also from Urrao. Though working smaller farms than La Falda, they decided that if they worked together they just might be able to improve their coffee quality so that they could access the speciality market. They succeeded! In 2014 the group achieved 3rd place in Colombia´s COE of 2014, under the name of Pablo Emilio Montoy and 2 Top 60 positions in the local Best Cup of Antioquia Competition. The group has gone from strength to strength and has been able to engage in a long term quality improvement project.
For coffee that cups over 86 points the producers receive an exceptionally high price that covers cost of production along with reinvestment in the cooperative itself and includes a specialty coffee premium once the purchased lot has been sold. This has led, in very little time, to a transparent and consistent relationship with the group, and the discovery of some amazing profiles.
Colombian coffees are quite variable in flavour although usually with recognisable 'South American' characteristics. This refined offering shows a little grapefruit astringency as well as some stone-fruit and chocolate.