Varietal: Red and Yellow Catuai
Altitude: 1,300 m above sea level
Region: Cerrado Mineiro
Flavours: Honey, Chocolate orange, apple
The Fazenda Santa Cecilia is a little jewel, owned by the well respected Pedro Veloso and family. Located centrally in Minas Gerais , which itself is renowned for some of Brazil's best coffees. The expansive Santa Cecilia is home to many different coffee lots, which the family use for constant experimentation, searching new varieties, as well as developing exciting new fermentation and drying methods.
This location is famed for its quality coffee production, elevated by the high altitudes of up to 1300 metres above sea level. The conditions in this region, with its perfect balance of wet and dry seasons make it idyllic for coffee production. The region of Cerrado Mineiro can be found to the east of Minas Gerais.
We are excited to welcome this new coffee to our Works Coffee Roasters menu as, Cerrado alone is estimated to produce around 13% of Brazil's total coffee output. Cerrado has received 'Origin status', meaning only coffee from Cerrado, can be called 'Cerrado', much like Champagne in France. The team at Santa Cecilia are constantly reviewing and evaluating their coffees, be it new technologies to improve irrigation, machinery, or by maximising the use of green and organic products.
Santa Cecilia are developing great plans to build reservoirs to fight climate change, which in turn will allow them to continue to produce great coffee in a more sustainable way. We love to work with farms that deploy this standard, especially when they show such dedication towards the sustainability of their home-land. Pedro is committed to promoting an awareness for environmental issues and founded the Semear Project, which seeks to extend this awareness to the local school children in the region. The project emphasises the needed to protect nature reserves in Brazil against deforestation, an issue affecting Brazil now everyday. Pedro has purchased land to encourage as much plantation of coffee seedlings as possible, reversing environmental damage and encouraging reforestation. We find these methods to be so commendable and we get a sense of satisfaction when we purchase from farms who work so hard to include these ethics, as part of their coffee producing agenda.
From the many varieties, the Red Catuai and Yellow Catuai were chosen for their great cup score during testing. Before harvesting, the team map out all their plots and the output of the harvest. They then decide which process to use according to each plot. The Red Catuai is spread out evenly into layers in a drying greenhouse, with the drying process tracked mainly times on a daily basis. The process can last up to and sometimes more than 21 days. For the Yellow Catuai, the coffee is mechanically harvested and sent to a drying patio. The layers of carefully spread cherries are folded every 4 days and can take a total of 22 days to reach their ideal moisture. When both lots are dried, they are taken to the dry mill, located inside Santa Cecilia. This removes the remaining dried coffee cherry husk, before it is exported.
When we sampled this coffee, we were treated to a burst of the most pleasing flavours. This coffee when cupped, reminds you why Brazil is and will highly likely remain, the number one coffee producing origin in the world.
Sweet as honey, with a twist of apple and orange.