オリジントリップ - ブラジル・ミナスジェライス州 -

Origin Trip - Minas Gerais, Brazil -

December 03, 2018

I went to the coffee producing area of ​​Minas Gerais in Brazil.
Brazil was a very interesting country for me, but I didn't get the chance to visit it very often. The general image of coffee produced in Brazil is that it exists mainly as a base coffee bean for espresso blends, etc., because it has a low acidity and a nutty and chocolate-like flavor.

We don't blend coffee, but we carefully select Brazilian coffee that we have purchased so far that has a creamy, soft acidity, a milk chocolate-like body, and a beautiful aftertaste. I have purchased.
And it uses a roasting profile that can best express its flavor when used in espresso, primarily due to its extraction characteristics.

Until now, I had this image of Brazil.
However, I was able to change that concept a little through this trip.

I was a judge for the top 10 competition held at the community APAS in the town of Sao Gonzalo do Sapcaí, Minas Gerais, and I encountered a surprising coffee during that time. Moderate body and transparent sweetness, intense and long fruit flavor.
It was a profile that overturned the image I had so far.

The winner was a farm called Sitio Sao Francisco, which was unanimously won by almost all the judges. The altitude of 1,300m to 1,600m is very high for Brazil, which may be one of the factors that produces high-quality coffee with a clean acidity.

I am making an offer to purchase this winning micro lot.

By the way, in the notation of farms in Brazil, Fazenda and Sitio are mainly written before the name of the farm.

After the competition, I went to Cafe bras (exporter) lab in Varginha. I cupped more coffee there. No matter which origin you go to, you will always have cupping done at the coffee exporter's lab.

The role of cupping prepared by exporters is to collect coffee from farms and communities that buyers (our agents, e.g. Nordic Approach) are likely to buy, manage, hold tasting sessions, and lead to purchases.

48 types of cupping this time.
All were natural processes, except for the two pulped naturals they prepared for me.

Not only those with a strong natural smell that are often drunk in Japan, but also those with a clean scent.
However, there were also some defects called Phenolic. Phenolic is mainly a unique odor expression, which smells like alcohol. This happens when the wine is over-fermented during the natural process.

The natural process is a refining method that directly enters the drying process after harvesting the fruit. The drying period is about 17 to 30 days, depending on the weather.

In areas with high rainfall and high humidity, drying in the sun alone is not enough, so dryers are also used for drying.

The first time I saw a drying machine was at Caballero's wet mill in La Paz, Honduras, Central America. Caballero's wet mill is located at a high altitude, so the weather is changeable and drying in the sun is not a good idea.

I used a drying machine instead.
The coffee dried by this machine is traded primarily as a commodity coffee (a grade that emphasizes quantity over quality) and is unlikely to be purchased by Fuglen.

Climate around Caballero's Wet Mill


drying machine

Drying coffee purchased by Fuglen (caballero)

 

Let's go back to Brazil.
One more thing, I encountered a surprising coffee on this trip. This is a micro lot for the COE exhibition made by a 26-year-old producer.

He is passionate about making coffee with a profile that overturns the image of Brazilian coffee so far, and the difference was clear even in blind cupping.
I was surprised that I could make coffee up to this point, and I realized the depth of coffee.

Brazil is already at a level where we can get out of stereotypes such as "soft acidity", "like nuts and chocolate", and "espresso base". On the other hand, it seems that production costs still need to be reviewed for such high-quality coffee, but I believe that Fuglen will be able to purchase coffee of that level in the near future.

Finally, let's take a look at why Norwegian coffee is so good, looking back at its history with Brazil.

In 1808, Portugal, which had rejected Napoleon's blockade, was invaded by the French army and temporarily moved its capital to Rio de Janeiro.

After Napoleon left Portugal in 1821, Portugal returned to Lisbon, but João VI's son Don Pedro remained in Rio de Janeiro and became independent as Brazil in 1822.

Bacalao is Portuguese. The ingredients used for bacalao are salted cod. Norway exported high-quality salted cod to Brazil, where Portuguese culture remained.

On the return ship, we loaded Brazilian Arabica coffee and returned. Norway thus traditionally drank good Arabica without an influx of inferior Robusta. This historical background has created the coffee culture of today's Oslo, Norway.

Let's not forget that the coffee that everyone is drinking now is built on this history, and that it will be connected to the coffee of the future.

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