||Brazil Fazenda Divino Espírito Santo Topazio Natural 2011
Returning for its second year, this is one of our direct trade coffees from Brazil. This year I got to visit the farm, having only had enough time last year to meet the owner, Michael Freitas. This is an amazing place, so clean and organised, and so very professional.
The farm is located in the region of Piatã, which is in the state of Bahia, at an elevation of 1300 masl (meters above sea level), which is one of the highest spots in the whole of this award winning area. The farm has an annual production of around 250 bags (it would be more but Michael is very fastidious in his picking and selection). The varietal of this coffee is Topazio, Michael is constantly playing with experimental lots, and we have been lucky enough to get some of this, this year.
Michael is seen by his peers as a pioneer for quality He seems to know instinctively how he can get the very best out of the land in Bahia. In 2004, Michael won a BSCA (Brazil Speciality Coffee Association) award after finishing 5th and 14th in competitions. He was a 1st place winner in the ABIC (Associacao Brasileira das Industrias de Café) contest in 2006 with a Pulped Natural, and 1st place winner in 2007 with with a Natural lot. He is keen to learn and experiment with the coffees he has, and I think this quality comes through in the cup. He has also ventured into roasting coffee in order to further his learning and develop his skills. Michael is also an accomplished cupper, which is a skill every great farmer should posses.
This varietal is a Topazio, which is a cross between Mundo Novo and Yellow Catuai that was developed in Brazil in the 1960's at the Agronomy Institute of Campinas and first introduced commercially in Minas Gerais. Since its introduction, several variations have been made and today the most common is the MG-1190. It is a shorter tree like the Catuai with a height of around 2 metres and diameter of 1.8 metres after 7 years. The productive branches are more open than the Catuai which allows for better plant aeration and entry of the sun to the interior of the plant.
Michael and Patricia planted Topazio as an experiment but are very happy with the results and plan on expanding the area in which they grow it. They were unsure about the cup quality so they are very pleased that all who have cupped the coffee have given it good scores.
In the cup expect dark chocolate, mixed with a little bit of sherry, some blackcurrant, all mixed in with a great mouth-feel and lovely aniseed aftertaste.
Owner: Michael Freitas
Family: Lives in farm with wife and 3 daughters
Closest City: Piatã
Employees: 6 full time in addition to extended family member.
Seasonal Employees: 45 to 55 seasonal pickers
Varietals on the Farm: Catuai, Topazio, Pacamara, Java, Catucai, Obatan, Acauan, Bourbon
Varietals of this coffee: Topazio
Altitude: Up to 1,300
Total Farm Area: 27 ha total area of which 9 ha are planted.
Best medium to medium dark depending on the brew method used; medium dark for espresso, medium for filter. When we sell this as roasted it's just taken into 2nd crack then stopped.
"Quick Look" Guide:
Dark chocolate, sherry, big mouthfeel, aniseed, blackcurrant.
Good Filter: Yes, Good Espresso: Yes
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