As many of you know, for the last year I have been pursuing a masters degree here at the Universidade Federal de Lavras, or UFLA as it is known. UFLA has become one of the top coffee research universities in the world and one of the major forces behind that is Dr. Flávio Meira Borém. Here is a video of Dr. Borem discussing coffee processing at this year’s SCAA Symposium that they were kind enough to post on youtube [read more]
It’s harvest time here in Brazil; the culmination of the year’s work and the moment when growers can finally transfer this work into a product they can sell. But not matter how good the coffee is on the tree, all can be lost if the harvest is not carefully planned and managed. The Magalhães Paiva family has been growing coffee for 5 generations at Fazenda Recanto. We asked them to give us some essential things that must be done pre-harvest to ensure that the quality makes its way from the tree to the bean. [read more]
Alessandro Hervaz is one of the founders of the Associação dos Produtores do Alta da Serra (APAS), a Fair Trade association in the hills outside of São Gonçalo do Sapucaí, Minas Gerais. Alessandro not only won the APAS competition last year with his own farm, Sítio Esperança, but traveled the world promoting APAS and the quality coffees they are collectively producing. Before he headed out to Gothenburg for the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe World of Coffee event, we were able to spend some time with Alessandro to get to know him, Sítio Esperança, and APAS a little better.
We at Casa Brasil are fortunate to have forged a great relationship with some incredible growers over the past few years. The Associação dos Produtores do Alto da Serra, also known as APAS, is a fair trade group of 40+ coffee growing families outside of São Gonçalo do Sapucaí (in the Mantiqueira de Minas growing region) that are producing some incredible coffees. [read more]
Challenges in translating Brazilian Coffee Text
I recently finished translating a post-harvest coffee textbook – Pós-Colheita do Café by Flávio Meira Borém – from Portuguese to English. The new English version, Handbook of Coffee Post-Harvest Technology: A Comprehensive Guide to the Processing, Drying, and Storage of Coffee, is available at www.postharvestcoffee.com. While working on the book I was often challenged to find the best English word for a Portuguese coffee term. [read more]
It was stevedore day at Casa Brasil on Tuesday – one of the special days when we got a container delivered directly to our Austin warehouse. The fun of breaking the seal and opening the container of coffees you hand picked at source always gives you a good feeling that almost lasts through the unloading of 25,000 lbs of coffee.
Congratulations to Sitio Sao Francisco de Assis for winning the 2013 Brazilian Cup of Excellence – Early Harvest. The Early Harvest COE is for wet process coffees, and the Late Harvest competition, to be held in January, is for dry process coffees. Once again Carmo de Minas dominated with 7 of the top 10 coffees coming from Carmo, and one coming from nearby Dom Vicoso. Rainha and Recreio from the Vale da Grama region once finished in the top 5 (2nd and 5th respectively) and maintain their status as the two most consistent farms in the COE competition. Here is a list of the top 10 finishers. [read more]
One thing that can be a huge impediment to producing high quality coffees is actually quite small. In fact, its small size is exactly the problem. Some coffee fruit never develops beyond a very unripe state, going directly from unripe to dry and never achieving full maturation. Like bananas, the more unripe a coffee fruit, the more its resulting beverage will have a burnt rubber-like astringency. This coffee must be removed in order to not taint the final product. [read more]