A wild coffee with big body, fruit and chocolate flavors. Cooked peaches, mango, dried apricots, melon, coconut husk. Darker roasts have a winey chocolate character. Body is heavy, and the mouthfeel is a little tight in the finish. City+ to Full City+.
Chapada Diamantina is a region in the Bahia sate of Brazil, some 7 hours drive from the city of Salvador. It's an unusual place for coffee production, a rather dry climate surrounded by arid lowlands. The "chapadas" of this zone are towering rock formations, and as they erode they have created alluvial fans that are ideal for coffee farming and other agriculture. Chapada Diamantina is one of these fans, famous because there was a sort of "diamond rush" by Portuguese prospectors at the end of the 19th century, hence the "diamantina" in the name. This coffee is from a cooperative group of farmers that are both Organic and Biodynamic certified. I won't get into the latter, but it is advanced land stewardship, a sort of "meta-organic" thing, and from mysterious photos I have, it involves a ceremony where they entomb the horns of the bulls in the ground once a year. I know, I am confused too. But the message is this group cares about their land, cares about their coffee, and have been producing nice hand-picked 1100+ meter, sun-dried coffee, Bourbon and Catuai cultivars, for quite a few years now.
We have bought less fruity naturals in recent times because of a lack of sweetness, and too much earthy taste in the cup. But this Chapada Diamantina natural I would buy any time. The dry fragrance from the coffee grounds is very sweet, fills the room with fruit notes like tamarind, melon, and dried mango, as well chocolate and "Dulce de leche" (milk caramel). The wet aroma is hefty, with molasses and other "browning sugar" scents, vanilla bean, a bit of cardamom, cooked peaches and baked/spiced apple too! Darker roasts are more bittersweet, with kola nut scent. The cup has moderate acidity, with big body and (as expected from the aromatics) fruit and chocolate flavors. Cooked peaches, mango, dried apricots, melon candy, coconut husk; these are all things I find in this cup roasted to about the Full City stage, before roast taste starts to dominate. Dark roasts have a winey chocolate character. Body is heavy, and the mouthfeel is a little tight in the finish. The lightest roast has a hint of apricot pit, which is a bit astringent. For this reason I don't recommend City roast level, and I find Full City the most attractive. If you like fruity SO espresso, anything from FC and darker is quite intense. If you cull out any black beans before roasting, then any light quakers after roasting you can improve the cup greatly.