A surprisingly 'clean' cup, this Brazil coffee produces flavors of cinnamon and molasses sugar, pungent sweetness, walnut, and dried banana hints. Deep roasts develop rich dark cocoa roast tones. City+ to Full City+. Good for espresso
This microlot from "Agua Limpia" farm took 2nd place at the competition held by Regional Cooperative of Coffee Growers of Vale do Rio Verde (COCARIVE) end of 2015, a coop this farm is a part of. Fazenda Agua Limpias is owned and operated by the family of Luciano Junqueira, a rather small operation by Brazilian standards, only the 6 family members working the farm year round with 15 seasonal employees who help with picking, processing, and hand-sorting. The farm is located in the municipality of Cristina, within the Sul de Minas region. They grow a mix of Yellow Bourbon, as well as Mundo Nuovo (a natural hybrid of Boubon and Typica). A lot of hand labor goes into these competition coffees, which is evidenced in the roasted coffee (though there still is the occasional quaker that should be picked out). A 16/18 screen size equates to larger, uniform beans, achieving evenness in color when roasting, and also means no small beans to slip through Behmor grid drums!
The ground coffee of City+ roasts have a pleasant baking spice and dark sugar quality, cinnamon and brown sugar on toast with butter. An attractive marzipan scent comes up in the steam off the wet grounds, faint dried fruit notes found around the edges, and the break announces a strong cocoa powder and walnut smell. The hot coffee has pleasing if not pungent bittersweetness, like molasses sugar mixed with bittering baker's cocoa. Fruit tones open up a bit as the cup cools (I taste a dehydrated banana note), but play a secondary role in the cup, deferring heavily to raw sugar and nut tones which linger in the aftertaste. The finish is surprisingly clean, which I'll attribute to both pulp-natural processing as well as extensive hand sorting. You can build an impressive level of dark chocolate flavor when taking the roast to Full City and even Full City+, roast tones adding another dimension to the cup profile. The deeper roasts work very well as espresso on it's own, and make for an incredible blend base for those interested in putting together a Brazil-based espresso blend. Fresh from the roaster, the profile seems much more 2-dimensional than when allowed to rest for a couple days.