I tell you, this coffee will hold a special place in my heart and mind. One of our first stops on a great Brazilian coffee hunt back in August ’12 – we have been buddies with Nilton ever since.
Sao Francisco is a decent sized family farm that uses very modern techniques to produce the beans, big mechanical harvesters and fields and fields of coffee are quite astonishing to the eye. (Very tasty beans at a reasonable price). Picked, sorted and dried to perfection – almost every detail of growth and processing is tracked and monitored so they can constantly improve the quality of the coffee.
I was astonished in Alta Mogiana – it really seemed you could toss a seed at any time during the year and it would grow and thrive – a perfect place to grow almost anything (year-round) and it was at enough altitude to produce denser coffee – about 4000 feet average.
Although Sao has giant fields of coffee it doesn’t mean they cleared the natural areas – quite the habitat they maintain – wild giant packs of capybara – many snakes and pond habitats – birds galore. Funny story – wandering his fields in the middle of the night I was chased by a pack of about 30 capybaras – never been so scared in my life (although I am pretty sure they are harmless – definitely intimidating to have a pack run at you). Quite the adventure finding these beans.
Tasting Notes: Slow drying the beans add some very complex and sweet layers to the cup but also gives off some unique Ethiopian Natural like tones. Pretty mild in this cup but can be seen. Lighter roasts will give off a little acidity balanced with some complex nutty and malty tones but can be a little earthy. Medium roasts really bring the cup together, a little soft fruit, complex malty/chocolaty tones, good body and sweetness, a little hint of oaky as the cup cools. Too dark of a roast and one will lose that fruitiness but gain decent body. Roasty notes can be a compliment when roasted into 2nd crack but almost everyone preferred a before 2nd crack roast. Using this bean for a blend base showed very favorable characteristics although we do always enjoy it as a single origin drinker as well.
Roasting Notes: Good from light to dark. Definitely more exotic at the lighter roast points but too unique for some. Classic and tasty cup profile from medium to dark roasts. A little chaff heavy being a natural processed. If in doubt, keep it before 2nd crack, a little sheen on the bean pushing a strong medium roast and cool it out.