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This coffee is imported by the ELAN group, which is dedicated to finding and supporting sustainable, organic, fair trade coffee. This Brazil is also Rainforest Alliance certified, which is a nice thing to see on a Brazil coffee, as this ensures they are not depleting forests for coffee plantations.
The Daterra Brazil coffee has been consistently well-received in the Cup of Excellence competition. Within the Daterra branding are 88 mini-farms. Monte Cristo is one of those mini farms, and produces natural-process beans in the Alto Mogiana region. This is the 2015 crop and comes packed in a grain-pro bag for ultimate freshness, and this is the 2nd year in a row that we have bought the beans grown on Monte Cristo.
I daresay this is the best cup of brewed coffee I've ever had from Brazil. It's also the most expensive Brazil I've ever stocked, but that's the way it works. This coffee has a nice clean and consistent taste without earthiness or bitterness often found in cheaper Brazils. In addition, it has slight dark red berry and definite chocolate in the cupping profile. I'm roasting it to a bean temp of 421 (just barely into the true 2nd cracks) to brew it as coffee, and a bean temp of 433 ( (about 40 seconds into the 2nd cracks, right as its starting to get violent and become "rolling 2nds") to use as an espresso base. It creates an awesome depth and flavor and sweetness to your espresso blend. You can also brew it as coffee at this dark roast level if you enjoy sweet French Roasts.
Variety: Typica, Bourbon
Altitude: 3,000-3,900 feet
Harvest: August – September
Certifications: Organic, Rainforest Alliance
Quality: chocolatey, crema, dark red berry notes, floral sweet hazelnut finish
A couple notes about roasting and tasting Brazils. I do like Brazil coffee, but I don't like 99% of the Brazil coffees that I taste. I don't want an overkill on earthiness, bitterness, or acidity. I do want nutty, mildly acidic, mildly complex, caramel, rich flavor of traditional coffee with overall sweetness. This one fits that description. Second note, when you see a "natural processed" coffee, you should instantly think, "light roast!" but not with Brazil. It's okay to French roast a natural process Brazil, and the minimum roast for it is Full City. Don't treat it gentle like you would an Ethiopian.