Patrocinio. Daterra deserves several pages due to their dedication to quality and sustainability and due to our offerings of their best coffees. For now I will just concentrate on this visit. I will start off by saying this: When you walk around Daterra, you get the idea that no matter how much you love coffee, owner Luis Pascoal loves it more. At every turn you find innovation and dedication to the nth degree.
Speaking of dedication, today is a holiday in Brazil and Carlos Borges was kind enough to work on his vacation and take me to the farm. A great guy both in his knowledge and passion for coffee and in his kindness. The first thing we did was head to the Coffee Lab for a cupping.
Daterra does something that I have not seen anywhere else: they optimize harvest quality by basing harvesting on how well the coffee is cupping. During the harvesting season, they take sample harvests from the lots and cup these samples. From these samples they then determine if coffee maturation is at its peak and if not when the coffee should be harvested.
Each year Carlos picks the very best lot of coffee and this is designated the Reserve. The Peaberry and 17-18 Screen is then separated from the Reserve, rendering the best coffee from one of Brasil’s best farms. This year’s reserve is exclusively Yellow Bourbon, and the winning plants are…
This years Reserve.
Opus 1 Exotic
Hear is the Opus One Coffee. It has been over 12 years in the making and is a joint venture between Illy and Daterra. The caffeine content is 30% that of normal arabica coffee (or less than 1% overall) and it is the result of breeding, not genetic modification. I asked Carlos what the gene stock was comprised of. I guessed typica, and when I asked him what else he replied “Yah, typica and something else, you got it” with a big smile. I tried some at the SCAA Conference in Long Beach and was quite impressed. The plant itself is ragged and odd looking as evinced by the photos (think Bob Dylan 1966, though Bob probably was not decaf in ’66) .
Joel with Opus 1 Exotic
The warehouse is completely sealed and impermeable to light. They have installed a special UV-resistant canvas on the ceiling and walls. Dehumidifiers maintain humidity at a constant 60% and line the perimeter of the warehouse with one every three meters. Coffee is either stored in insulated bags or in the vacuum-sealed Penta Packs. Coffee store in the insulated bags is transferred to certified organic jute only upon shipping to avoid aroma/flavor contamination.
Here are some photos of the Specialty Coffee Warehouse at Daterra.
Besides showing you that they do in fact separate their organic coffee, this photo shows that all of the coffee is either in the Penta Boxes or in the insulated coffee bags. See what I mean about Luis loving coffee. Not only to do they have state-of-the-art packaging that prevents tainting of the coffee, they store this state-of-the-art packaging in a state-of-the-art facility. Beautiful. (Think Pele, Rivelino, and Tostao in 1970.)
Think about Quality – Quality only appears when you give your best