Chocolate, Almond and Cherry
Since 1981, José Carlos Peloso has been growing coffee in the Sul de Minas region of Brazil. While this was his first venture into owning his own land, coffee production has been in the family for generations. After completing his training in dentistry, José’s passion for coffee led him back to rural Minas, where he purchased the 68 hectare plot that was to become Fazenda Estiva, and settled down with his family. They manage the farm together, José, his wife, and their two children. While Sul de Minas is one of the most productive coffee areas in Brazil, boasting almost 30% of the nation’s total production, Fazenda Estiva has a comparatively small are planted with coffee, at only 10 hectares. In fact, this year we have purchased more than a fifth of their total production. This particular lot is of the Mundo Novo varietal, a very popular varietal in this part of Brazil due to its good balance between cup quality and yield, and one which we tend to favour on the cupping table. The natural process enhances the richness of this classically Brazilian lot, with a heavy chocolate and nut backbone joined by a touch of jammy fruit.
When we choose to share a coffee, it’s because we feel it showcases clear character in the cup, the origin of which can be traced back through the coffee chain. We are inspired not only by sharing this carefully created raw material, but by conveying how each step of the coffee’s journey has led to what you find in your cup, be it terroir, varietal, post-harvest processing, or something else entirely.
We roast with a gentle touch in order to unveil these characteristics with the highest level of clarity. Be it a dense, high-grown heirloom varietal from Ethiopia, or a lower-grown Bourbon from Brazil, we always aim for this same clarity, and write taste notes as an introduction as to what to expect from the raw material. We would expect higher acidity and a lower body from Ethiopia, so would use notes such as citrus fruits and tea to describe this. From Brazil, we are more likely to use notes such as chocolate and nuts; to convey the heavy, sweet character and pleasant dryness we expect from lower-grown coffees.
We recommend our roasted coffee for all brew methods, regardless of whether it is immersion, percolation or espresso. We believe that there is one correct way to roast a single coffee, roasting lightly, in such a way as to release its innate qualities and showcase its quality. Roasting coffees darker to aid solubility, especially for espresso, tends to cloud the origin-specific flavour notes which we so value in our approach. This approach means we often have to understand coffee brewing and the effect we can have here, and not necessarily follow brewing guides exactly. Here we provide an outline for brewing using percolation, immersion, and espresso brewing methods. We also recommend resting your coffee after roasting. When coffee is roasted, chemical changes in the beans take place, and one of the byproducts of these changes is Carbon Dioxide gas. This becomes trapped in the bean cell structure, and slowly seeps out over time. This gas makes it difficult to brew coffee, both by causing fizzing out as you attempt to brew coffee, and by dissolving into carbonic acid during brewing, causing off flavours in the cup. However, whatever brewing method you use, the water is a very important factor.Read more
|Producer||José Carlos Peloso|
|Region||Sul de Minas|
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