Brazil Daterra Farms - Sweet Blue

Brazil Daterra Farms - Sweet Blue

Farm Description

Daterra Farms is a remarkable force in the Brazilian coffee world, and the entire coffee world in general. Here we find one of the most innovative coffee cultivators, where each step is scrutinized, rethought, reinvented. It is more of a coffee research institute than a farm! Well, that's not true ... like all farms the coffee tree predominates, but here we have each plot marked off in terms of what "experiment" is currently being conducted to improve cup quality. When I visited there were plots of huge 20 foot tall "native" coffee trees, then pure Catuai cultivar areas, Icatu, Mundo Novo and other cultivars I have never encountered. And then there were the old traditional cultivars, Typica and pure Yellow Bourbon. They blend the various plots, like a vintner might blend their grapes from within a farm, to get the desired results. They sell these blends (such as Sweet Collection, Reserve, Santa Columba, etc) but I usually prefer the pure Yellow Bourbon cultivar over the others. Interestingly, this year along with the YB coffee, the Sweet Blue Daterra was a real standout. It was sweeter, yes, as the name suggests, and really nicely prepared using the Penta system preparation. What's Penta? It's Daterra's system to sort coffee under ultraviolet light, with added defect removal steps, store in special warehouses optimized for coffee, locking in the moisture content in the green coffee with vacuum packaging, boxing and shipping. Perhaps it is the future of green coffee and we certainly are investing a lot in the vac pack, primarily because coffee must be transported through humid zones in the origin country and (especially if the container of traditional burlap bags gets waylaid at port) can result in the coffee taking on moisture; it's a bad thing. I think it's part of why Daterras arrive so nice and fresh; when done right, vac-packing at origin in the best.

This coffee is part of our Farm Gate pricing program.

Cupping Notes

The dry fragrance has strong almond character in the lighter roasts, and in darker roasts is a little turpeny and pungent as well, laced with bittersweet chocolate. The wet aroma is darkly sweet but also pungent and peppery. The lighter roasts are very syrupy and sweet. It has a mild blueberry note in the cup, but this is obscured quickly by chocolate roast notes, even as light as City+ roast. There is a nutty dryness throughout the roast spectrum, almond with that almond skin effect in the finish. Chocolate alkaloids create a pleasant bittering finish at FC roast level. It's not a super complex coffee, but has nicely integrated qualities, and the body has a nice slick, syrup texture. I will be testing some fairly light roast SO espresso to see if I can coax that transitory berry note out of it. It's a very clean cup for a Brazil, and sweeter in general than the Yellow Bourbon lot we have offered.

Score

87.4

Lot Size

40 boxes

Roast Recommendations

City+ is most intense, and also somewhat bright for a Brazil coffee. FC+ converts nut notes to chocolate notes, but is actually slightly less intense and complex than C+

Processing

Pulp Natural

Varietal

Mundo Novo    

Grade & Appearance

Penta Grade System, Vacuum Pack; .2 d/300gr, 16-18 screen

Packaging

Vacuum Packed at Origin
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This coffee has sold out. The review is provided for reference purposes only.

Drying patio at Daterra, where raised beds are also used.

Gustave explains the soil management at Daterra

Ripe cherry at a Daterra farm

New coffee flowering

Mechanical harvester

A plot of tall Bourbon trees at Daterra
 

Comments

#1 Sweet as suga' !

This is a great coffee. We dropped at 315 and let it run down to 155 before putting the heat back to it. It ran to first crack at 368 in 9:36 and at 3:99 we cut the heat back to tips and let it roll on it's own to a sweet finish at 420 at 14:37. This color on this coffee is a little lighter than what I am used to at these temps, so I think it would be really easy to over roast if you weren't paying close attention. It's very sweet and smooth in the cup, with a nice bittersweet chocolate finish and a smidge of almond. Really smooth mouthfeel and almost perfectly balanced.

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