||Brazil Ipanema Aura Matina Premier Cru B05 Apricot 2020
After such shining reviews in 2019, we're happy to announce that we have coffees from The Ipanema Estates back for a second year!
Their team have been innovating in Brazilian coffee for many years now, and their reputation for consistency and high quality is well earned. This farm is a little larger (1500 hectares, 650 of which grows coffee) and more snazzy (check out their app available for iPhone and Android!) than those of some of the other producers we buy from, but the Ipanema producers are no less passionate.
We're chuffed that they want to share their project – Premier Cru – with us for another year. Previously it was known as Grano Segreto, and in 2020 it's called Aura Matina. Want to hear about the Premier Cru project straight from the horse's mouth? Head on over to the Ipanema Coffees website http://www.premiercru1887.com
Founded in 1887, the farm itself is one of Ipanema Coffee's oldest farms. Fun fact from its history: between 1964 and 1992, the owners invested heavily in the production of chicken manure, applying it in the coffee areas to increase soil fertility. The farm had 81 sheds where 136,000 hens lived and produced 800,000 kilos of manure annually – volume large enough to fertilise half of the coffee plantation every year! ????
The coffee is grown at elevations of up to 1300 metres above sea level (m.a.s.l.) in the heart of the Mantiqueira de Minas mountains. It's surrounded by 900 hectares containing environmentally protected virgin forests, waterfalls, hiking trails, and 51 springs, all of which makes it a true sanctuary for nature. High elevations combined with mountainous topography create a unique microclimate with mild temperatures and an average rainfall of 1600 mm a year. This, plus the clay soil rich in minerals and nutrients, is ideal for growing high-quality coffee, but it's a challenge for the normal Brazilian production methods.
Fazenda Rio Verde is sectioned into 69 terroirs, the best 32 of which were selected to be part of the project. The coffee from each of these areas (referred to as glebes) was harvested and processed as unique lots which are identified by a code (e.g. C27). The letter refers to the coffee variety (e.g. B for Bourbon, C for Catuai, etc) and the number refers to one of the 32 glebes.
Once the lots were processed, the owners took a really unusual step: a panel of tasters went through and cupped the lots, picking a single standout flavour descriptor for each. When we cupped the pre-shipment samples at the roastery with their team, this was a lot that we absolutely loved. We got an immediate flavour of soft, sweet yellow stone fruit. It was no surprise to discover this lot had been identified as 'Peach'.
To protect the quality of the green coffee, the producers made the decision to pack the lots in cutting-edge nitrogen-flushed vacuum-packed 20 KG cartons. This removes all traces of oxygen from the containers (coffee and oxygen are not friends!) and stabilises the product to ensure the roastery is receiving it in as pristine condition as possible. This level of care is practically unheard of, even in specialty. The method speaks to the exceptional quality of these lots, which push the boundaries of what specialty coffee in Brazil can offer.
This B5 lot was described by the producers in the following way:
"This sweet Natural Yellow Bourbon presents a dense body, moderate acidity, and prolonged aftertaste. Its cup profile shows distinct Apricot notes."
Translated into Hasbean that sounds like ...
The big question is, does this coffee taste of apricot? Ohhhhh yes. Think fresh, ripe apricots, with a few peaches thrown in for good measure. After that initial rush of sweet yellow fruit, it becomes a little more recognisably Brazilian with a little hit of date on the finish and an aftertaste of milk chocolate and hazelnuts.
State: Minas Gerais
Region: Mantiqueira mountains
Farm: Fazenda Rio Verde
Glebe size: 4.6 hectares
Altitude: 1,035–1,107 m.a.s.l.
Varietal: Yellow Bourbon
Harvesting method: Selective handpicking
Processing method: Natural cherry
Pre-drying process: Raised beds for 43 hours
Drying process: Vertical dryers for 50 hours
Screen size: #15UP
Apricot, peach, date, milk chocolate, hazelnut
Clean cup: (1–8): 7
Sweetness: (1–8): 7
Acidity: (1–8): 7
Mouthfeel: (1–8): 6
Flavour: (1–8): 7
Aftertaste: (1–8): 6.5
Balance: (1–8): 6.5
Overall: (1–8): 7
Correction (+36): +36
Total (max. 100): 90
Medium – keep this one nice and steady to make sure it's properly developed, but drop it just before second gets going.
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