Last week we received our biggest container yet – a 40 foot – directly from the Daterra farm in Brazil. The container was swiftly emptied and the coffee is now in our storage space. This week we’re roasting it and Tuesday afternoon it will be on the shelves.
Four years ago Klaus and I got a dream fulfilled when we, in search for coffee to be used at WBC, tasted the Sweet Collection at the Daterra farm. Ever since we have enjoyed the sweetness and creamy body of this coffee!
Back in March 2009 I went to Brazil again and I of course was very happy to be able to visit Daterra again. Andreza Mazarao followed me to the farm and was the same wonderful host as I remember from the last time!
Since we had recently gotten a new lot of Daterra Sweet Collection it was interesting to try to track this back. And here the People at Daterra showed one of the reasons why they consistently produce such high quality: It took them less than two minutes to track back and find the specific lot.
It turned out that the particular lot we got last year was from their Fazenda Tabuoes Lot no. 22 and this was a lot of pure Bourbon trees. This to me shows a systematic approach which – along with the craftsmanship and continued drive towards higher quality of all the people at the farm – is very convincing. Beside the wonderful hospitality I really enjoyed and learned a lot from the talks with Carlinhos in the cupping lab and the agronomist Gustavo in the field.
To me Carlinhos is an extremely skilled cupper and we are very grateful for his work. On Fazenda Tabuoes his counterpart is Renato who is the cupper there. Since our lot is from this Fazenda he obviously has been more involved in the production of our lot of Sweet Collection and we are therefore also very grateful to him.
This is just to mention a few of the people who work hard to produce the fantastic coffee and of course our thanks goes to all the people at Daterra!
A topic that has had my interest for a long time as an espresso enthusiast is the definition of the Cerrado region. We had some very interesting talks about this and especially Gustavo shed some lights on this for me. As I understand it now the Cerrado region is mainly lying within the State of Minas Gerais but partly also in Mato Grosso do Sul and Goias. The region is defined by certain geographical features. The Climate is rather dry and the soil is red with approx. 40% clay which makes the soil quite good for retaining water. But since the climate is rather dry the vegetation is adapted to low precipitation rates.
Typically for the region is the Lobeira tree (Lobo = wolf. The name was given because the typical wolf of cerrado “Lobo-guará” eat the tree fruit). It has very thick leaves which is good for storing water. It has a bark similar of cork which gives the tree protecion against some of the naturally occuring fires in the dry enviroment.
It is believed that the geographical conditions is stressing the coffee tree a bit. Not stressing the tree too much but enough so that it develops a coffee with good body. At Daterra some of the coffees are irrigated and others not. Carlinhos told me that the irrigated coffees tended to be less dense than the coffees that came from trees that was not irrigated. If this seemingly relation between supply of water and the density of the bean also reflects in the body it would be intesting to find investigate more. But the dry conditions in Cerrado and creamy body that coffees from this region sometimes has might indicate some relation like this.
All in all the visit at Daterra answered many questions for me and at the same time new questions came along. As if it wasn’t enough to be with people this knowledgable about farming I had the pleasure to be accompanied by distributor of La Marzocco and Mahlkönig in Brazil, Paul Germscheid, whose technical knowledge of these machines is just flowing from him in a continuous stream.
Thanks a lot to everyone for making this trip wonderful!