Our first new-crop Brazil, this is made up of the farm's early harvest. Fazenda Santa Lucia is located in the growing-region of Campos Altos, the town itself sitting at 1000 meters, much higher than what is average altitude from much of the Cerrado region. This particular farm topping out right around 1200, and is planted in several different varietals, this particular lot being Catua_. Much of the coffee is still manually picked, as part of the farm is situated on a slope, a grade that does not allow for mechanical harvesting. The farm is well-managed, with new milling facilities onsite and the infrastructure to process and store large and smaller lot separations. This particular coffee is naturally processed, but we also have a naturally-processed lot of the same varietal separation as well. The role different processing methods play on cup profile is telling when putting these two side by side!
The dry grounds show a side of Baker's cocoa bittersweetness, along with a baked cookie-like smell, like spiced oatmeal with walnut. The wet aroma too smells a lot like baked goods, sweet bread notes with a cocoa powder crust. Middle roasts build an inky body, tactile and mouth-pleasing, and presents well with heavy cacao flavor notes. Unlike the naturally-processed lot from the same farm, this coffee is much less fruity, and in fact, I struggle to identify any sort of strong fruit notes in the cup. The flavor matrix is defined by dark cacao, raw sugar notes, with dry-spice and roasted nut flavors that linger in the finish. This makes a great blend base too, so much bittersweet chocolate, a sweetness that is up-front in espresso making way for a long-lasting roasted cacao nib flavor in the finish.