Last week I taught my first Q Grader Course at the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) in Varginha, Minas Gerais. For those not familiar with it, the Q Grader Cupping Certification is the main certification for coffee tasters, or “cuppers” as we call ourselves, in the specialty coffee industry.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
A quick look at some of the difficulties in translating coffee terms, starting with one of the most basic ones: Is is a berry or a cherry, a fruit or a drupe?
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 […]
We asked some of our musician friends to name their favorite Brazilian albums. Here is a list of the albums they chose, and a little bit about their own music.
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 […]
A look some signs that a farm might not be a consistent source for great coffee.
Floaters are coffee that has been separated by buoyancy. The word “floaters” is often used in conjunction with “overripes.” While it is generally true that overripe coffee constitutes the majority of the floaters, the hydraulic separation process separates the coffee not by maturation state, but rather by buoyancy. In fact, […]