This coffee comes to us from the region of Pedralva, in the Mantiqueira micro region, an area that boasts over 2000 "small holder" farmers. I'm using quotes here, as we don't usually consider farmers with 30, 40, even 50 hectares as "small holders". But this is quite small for Brazil, home to massive estates with fully mechanized harvesting operations. Many of the farmers in Pedralva still do some manual picking, allowing for better separation of ripe and underripe cherry. This particular lot is from Pedra Branca, a processing facility that was erected as part of a quality-focused initiative, providing the local farmers state of the art processing infrastructure where they can process smaller batch sizes. The facility is equipped to produce both pulp-natural and dry-processed coffees, this being the latter. The farms are located around the Pedra Branca mountians, plantings in the 1300 meter range and planted mainly in Yellow Bourbon and Catuai, although this is a Yellow Bourbon separation. The climate in the area is ideal for producing naturals and this lot exemplifies this producing a sweet, fruited, and 'clean' cup. Like most Brazilian coffees, the cup significantly better with rest after roasting. We prefer at least 48 hours.
We're pleased with this Pedra Branca coffee, a high-fruited cup is apparent from the outtest of our cup testing. From light to dark roasting, the dry fragrance offers smells of naturally dried slab apricot (the brown ones), winey fruits, and a mix of dark sugar, spice, and nut smells much like sweetened peanut sauce. Adding hot water draws out a smell of ripe banana cooked with raw sugar, dried cherry, and more roasted almond hints. Our Full City roast showed a fair amount of cacao/roast bittering tones too, offset by rustic sugar sweetness, and a green melon accent. The cup has bittersweetness you expect from Brazil, underlying cacao-like accents with countering molasses sugar sweetness. But a fruited side is easily discernible from the get go too, ripe wine grape, maraschino cherry, and a flavor of cinnamon-spiced banana bread. Full City cups offer layered cocoa expressions, with roasted almond and peanut flavors accentuated in the finish. This coffee cups with body and heft at City+ and Full City+ and will make a great SO espresso, or blend component. City+ to Full City will produce the most complex brewed cup, and it's best to give this coffee a couple days rest out of the roaster