About the coffee
Chapadao de Ferro
This coffee was processed using the pulped natural method, and brings a slightly more lively jammy fruit character to the cup than our previous release from the Fornaro.
The Fornaro family, descendents of Italian immigrants to Brazil, are a three-generation team of coffee producers, who farm in several small towns in the Cerrado Mineiro region. Ernesto Fornaro, his son Edenilson, and granddaughter Patricia farm coffee together, using the best of generations of experience alongside youth and entrepreneurship to create a dynamic and quality-focussed business. It hasn’t always been this way however, the first Fornaros to move to Brazil struggled for many years growing sugar cane and grapes in Sao Paolo state, before moving to Cerrado to grow coffee in the 1970’s, along with many others displaced from their lands by frosts and nematode outbreaks. The Santa Rita farm has around 37 hectares planted with coffee, and Catuai is the primary varietal grown here, alongside some Mundo Novo and Topazio. Santa Rita is located right next to the crater of the Chapadao de Ferro volcano, meaning higher altitude and fertile volcanic soils. This leads to slower maturing cherries, normally harvested 1-2 months later than the surrounding regions.
Chocolate, Brazil Nut and Strawberry Jam
The region of Cerrado Mineiro is part of the state of Minas Gerais in southeastern Brazil. In 2013 the region became the first in Brazil to be granted a protected designation of origin certificate, similar to Champagne or Scotch whisky. To qualify for the title ‘Cerrado’, the coffees must be speciality grade (80+) and grown above 800 masl in the Cerrado Mineiro region. The 4500 producers of the Cerrado region produces 6 million bags of coffee a year, from 210,000 hectares of coffee growing lands. Most of the lands here are of quite low altitude compared to most of the coffee we buy here at La Cabra, and are more flat, rather than on more mountainous terrain. The region has characteristic and distinct seasons, with a wet warm summer, and a dry winter, leading to more consistency in growing conditions between years. The dry climate during harvest means less issues with drying coffees, part of the reason so many high quality naturals are produced here.
|Producer||The Fornaro Family|
The natural, or dry process, is the traditional process, going back generations. When accomplished in a controlled and careful manner, dry processed coffees can produce flavour experiences not found in wet processed coffees, deep fruits and florals, normally with heavier mouthfeel and lower acidity. The cherries are first sorted, and then laid out on in thin layers (2-6 cm) on raised drying beds. These are almost always used for high quality naturals, as they aid airflow around the coffee as it dries, enabling more even drying. It is very important that coffees are sorted very carefully early on in the drying process, as all of the cherries quickly turn dark brown, making it impossible to separate under and overripe cherries. The cherries are turned frequently to avoid mold formation or over-fermentation, until they reach a moisture content of below 20%, and the outer cherry layer shrinks and blackens. This process takes between 2 and 4 weeks, depending on weather conditions.
About La Cabra
A focus on raw material
If we don’t feel that a coffee suits our style or what we like to present, we simply won’t buy it. Sometimes this leads to issues in green buying; we have to pay very close attention, to a level of green quality that will support this approach, and to how this will develop over the life of a coffee. We are required to focus heavily on the freshness of coffee, both green and roasted, to avoid introducing taints into our cups. We always use clean and fresh water, of an ideal mineral content to present the coffee in its best possible light. Once we have the correct roasting profile, water, and coffee age, the act of brewing is much more simple. A wide variance in brewing parameters can still produce delicious and transparent cups. It is also important to note that this is not always the most consistent approach. The coffee is laid completely bare, so any flaw with the raw material is clearly on show. We could often develop some coffees slightly more, to make them more approachable or easy to work with, but wavering from our philosophy like this would compromise our commitment to complete transparency in coffee.Read more