Brazil Chapadao de Ferro
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This 2015 Cup of Excellence winner (well...19th place), is grown by the Delarisse family. The Cup of Excellence judges evaluated it as coffee. I would argue that coffee is not even this bean's strong point. Evaluate it as espresso, and be blown away. This coffee arrived in the USA in April 2015 and will most likely be our best Brazil of 2015. We bought it a couple months ago and have been eagerly awaiting its arrival.
Coffee Review evaluated it as espresso 5 years ago http://www.coffeereview.com/review/brasil-fazenda-chapadao-de-ferro-espresso/ and they rated it a 90. It's presumably even better than a 90 this year.
This is a natural-processed Brazil which is my preference for espresso (although pulped-natural can be every bit as good or better). What surprised me is how good of espresso it makes at a medium roast level. Usually I take espresso well into the 2nd cracks -- and you can -- but it absolutely shines just barely into the 2nd cracks. (for us, 2nd cracks started around 417 degrees and we dumped it at 421 -- roughly 20 seconds after the first audible sounds of the 2nd cracks) This is compared to say, 440 degrees for most of our Brazil espresso.
At this medium roast level, evaluated as espresso, we taste subtle floral notes (so unusual to taste subtle jasmine in an espresso, but wonderful!), dates, figs, chocolate. We enjoyed the sweetness of the shot with only mild bitterness. The mouthfeel of creaminess (buttermilk!) was also unexpected but fantastic.
At our typical French Roast, evaluated as espresso, we still taste the dates and figs with a more intense chocolate and a more powered bitterness. The creamy mouthfeel remains, although subdued slightly. It is still fantastic espresso but lacks the complexity and clarity of the medium roast. We would probably add a small percentage of other coffees to round it out, at this roast level.
We haven't spent much time brewing it as coffee. We tried a few basic french presses and a drip brew, and we didn't find anything that wowed us, although the fact that it won at COE makes me think you could tweak it and find something good here. I'm guessing this will be a fantastic Aeropress coffee, but we haven't attempted that yet. A solid Brazil like this always makes a nice base for a breakfast blend with say, a Central American and dark Indonesian.
This is not an organic certified coffee, but it is traceable back to the particular farm, and that farm is sustainable and uses traditional organic growing methods.
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