FAF is Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza. One of the best Brazilian coffee farms on the block (at least in our opinion). They are the family that process and runs the Bob O Link Co-op, which many of us love and have been waiting for this season.
I had the joy of staying with them back in 2017 on my first trip to Brazil and am happy to vouch for the sustainability and quality of the operation. They are leading the way in boutique Brazilian coffee and getting better every season! This is not your average Brazil by any means. From processing, quality of screen, tastes and sustainability of their farming practices, these beans go way above 99% of Brazilian coffee production.
These three lots are basically very fancy Bob-O-Link coffee. Higher cup scores than generic Bob-O-Link coffees, more diversity in flavor, more traceable, and fresh as can be. Instead of being a larger production blend of co-op members, these are fancier top lots from single farms, or multi-family lots.
Tasting Notes: Great from light to dark, the most exotic of the three offerings with its more African “tea like” spice notes. Not over the top, just a hint mostly in the aftertaste. Lighter roasts show a sweet edge, good floral acidity, a little natural-processed soft fruit tone that balances with classic Brazil nutty and dry-chocolate. Medium roasts drop some of the acidity but retain a hint of the fruity factor. The body gets thicker and those nutty and chocolaty tones take over the bulk of the cup. Hints of tea like spice pop out in the aftertaste, a couple folks thought it almost to be reminiscent of a Ethiopian spice note. Darker roasts get a little edgy and smoky with more bakers chocolate and a lingering nuttiness. This cup shines at the light to medium roast level.
Roasting Notes: Easy to roast, a little chaff heavy but shouldn’t cause any issues. Roasts nice and even for a natural processed. Medium roasts are where we found the best cup character, a little hint of fruit, smooth and rich nutty tones with unique more African spice in the cup. A couple day setup is recommended if you shoot for the lighter roast points.
Brazil’s Parque Nacional do Caparaó, on the border of Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo states, is an awe-inspiring place. For coffee buyers conditioned to the sight of central and western Minas Gerais, with its endlessly rolling, shade-less coffee savannah, coffee grown in the Caparaó foothills looks like Minas turned on its side: slopes are aggressively steep, shaded, and wet, more resembling places like Nariño, in Colombia, or the Sandia Valley, in southern Peru, rather than the vast majority of Brazil. Southeastern Brazil gets little credit for its mountainousness, at least in coffee, where all of the scale is achieved in the more mechanical-friendly inland regions of Minas Gerais and São Paulo. But Caparaó is part of a scattered chain of ridgelines that combines the tropical rainforests of the Atlantic side with the warm, dry climate of the western inland expanse, whose closest ecological resemblance is the Andes mountains.
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