Fazenda California: Brazil
Fazenda California: Brazil
Our second purchase from Luiz Rodrigues, fifth through Aida Batlle, and another designed exclusively for Phoenix by Lucia Solis. Luiz bought Fazenda California in 2004 and turned it into an experimental, quality-driven operation. The microclimate of his farm enables exceptional quality at unusually low altitudes.
Obatã coffee organically grown in Paraná at 600 MASL; selectively mechanically harvested; sorted for ripeness; floated; pulped and floated; fermented using selected yeast under water in tile tanks for 40 hours; dried over 22 days using low-heat mechanical drying simulating day and night.
What we taste: Floral, chocolate, orange
12oz valve bag
Replacing our coffee from Sero Bebes in Papua New Guinea is the Brazil Fazenda California: Luxia process, which comes to us from coffee producer, Q-grader, and father Luiz Rodrigues.
This is a really cool coffee.
You know that whole thing that some people believe about coffee from Brazil is terrible, or how coffee has to be grown at high altitudes to be good (let alone specialty quality)? This coffee is designed specifically to challenge these long-held, erroneous beliefs.
Coffee is complex. With the right microclimate, it can be cold yet temperate enough for coffee cherries to mature slowly (which means more sugar) with their trees stressed enough (meaning denser seeds). Even at low altitudes (by way of comparison, most of our single origin features are grown at 1600+ MASL – this one is just 600 MASL).
To make things even more interesting, this is an Obatã cultivar – a type of tree from the Sarchimor line, which is resistant resistant to Coffee Leaf Rust….To say the least…coffees from these trees typically aren’t very good.
Let’s keep going – Luiz faced labor shortages, so he switched to mechanization. Often, people hear that and thing ‘lower quality.’ But this coffee is mechanically harvested (versus picked by hand) – but the machine only picks ripe cherry. Yes – you can have high yields without compromising quality.
After being fermented using a selected yeast, the coffee was washed of the mucilage and then dried mechanically. Many coffee people hate mechanical drying – we love it. It’s repeatable, predictable, low-labor and doesn’t rely on chance (what do you do if your coffee is sun drying on a patio and it starts raining and there's no one around to move it...). Historically, producers have dried their parchment coffee mechanically in 48-60 hours. They turn the heat on high and fry it, destroying delicate aromatic compounds and sugars that we need for the roasting process, and leaving the coffee unevenly dried (By way of contrast, most of our coffees are dried over 2-3 weeks in the sun and/or shade). Slow, even drying is important for a coffee’s flavor and shelf life. So Luiz’s protocol for mechanical drying is over 22 days and requires lower temperatures (he sets his driers to 35°C, rather than the usual 55-60°C, and he simulates day/night cycles by turning the driers on and off in 12 hour shifts and resting between shifts to homogenize).