Brazil - Fazenda Rio Verde Premier Cru, A41 Cherries (Black Edition)
Fully washed dry process (?!) / Red Acaia Arabica/ 1011-1070m
Coffee growing in the Mantiqueira Mountains in South East Brazil has been traced backs as far as 1870 and the Rio Verde farm its-self draws from from a history of coffee cultivation going back to 1887. Fazenda Rio Verde is real fauna and flora sanctuary with its 773 hectares covered by natural forests, 52 catalogued water springs and a complex biome that represents the beauty of the Mantiqueira Mountains highlands. This stunning and diverse landscape is home to 69 individual parcels of land, each with unique aspect, microclimate and varietal. The microlots produced in these plots can then be processed using 5 distinct methods which allows an almost unparalleled flexibility and variety in styles and flavour profiles. Cutting edge and heavily researched drying and preparation methods ensure that the resulting coffees are of exceptional quality and in the case of this washed Red Acacia varietal, rather unexpected.
The stated process method is "fully washed dry process" which doesn't give a whole lot away, other than the slightly uncharacteristic (for Brazil) use of washing rather than the more common pulped-natural (honey) or natural processes. The result is an uncharacteristically bright and fruit forward coffee that has more acidity than you would usually expect from a low-altitude coffee and more ripe fruit character than I've ever tasted in a washed coffee! There is a juicy and almost winey acidity and lots of sweet red fruit notes (think cherry and strawberry) which reminded me of full bodied rose wine. Lurking beneath the unexpected top notes was more familiar nutty and milk chocolate flavours and a lovely soft and creamy body.
In many ways this coffee offers a best of all possible worlds as it seems to split the difference between both washed and natural processes and high and low altitude in the way in balances bright, fruity and soft cocoa flavours. Once you get past the professional head-scratching (how do they do that??!!) you are left with a fun and supremely enjoyable coffee that I enjoyed brewing across all my usual home methods from aeropress to moka pot. I'm sure it would make superb espresso too but I'm cut off from my usual toys so I've been unable to put it through its paces on a commercial machine. We'd love to hear from any of you with espresso machines at home so grab a bag and let us know how you get on!
Tasting notes - Rose wine, strawberry, cherry, nutella
Suitable for - All brewing methods