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Brazil Natural Acaia from Santa Lucia’s farm in Sul de Minas

Cup profile: clementine, malted milk, chocolate, hazelnut ice cream

Description

Carefully roasted for use in espresso based drinks Warehouse City Espresso is an adaptable, easy coffee to work with, it is sweet and balanced through milk. Served black it has enough subtle brightness to impress any espresso drinker. The makeup of this coffee changes over time, yet remains true to its purpose, no matter what the context.

Historically, this has been the backbone of our wholesale relationships. Eight out of every ten industry customers that we supply have built their coffee business around this coffee. Warehouse City embodies the idea of the workhorse, a reliable powerhouse that gets the job done, day in, day out. The name harks back to Manchester as the heart of the Industrial Revolution, and the giant warehouses that sprung up during the 19th century. Over the years, Manchester has had a number of nicknames but the origins of Warehouse City are clear to see, dotted around the city, their imposing architecture still shapes the urban landscape.  Warehouse City is a fitting name for a coffee roasted in Royal Mill, on the site of Old Mill dating to 1797.

We have chosen this lot from Fazenda Santa Lucia in Brazil’s Sul de Minas for its intense sweetness. In the cup, each layer of sweetness gives way to even sweeter flavours. Our cupping notes reveal a soft sweet acidity of ripe clementine, which provides the perfect counterbalance for the main event. Namely, malted milk and rich, dark milk chocolate, hazelnut ice cream. Santa Lucia shines as an espresso and the intensely sweet finish is the icing on the cake and lingers long after the last sip. Through milk, this coffee becomes almost a caricature of itself. It tastes like the best coffee-flavoured ice cream you can imagine.

Two generations of the Garcia Family are at the helm of Fazenda Santa Lucia, a former cattle ranch. Antonio Wander Garcia and his son André Luiz Alvarenga Garcia are the duo pushing to produce the best possible coffee harvest from their 123 hectares farm. And they are well positioned to do so. Between them, they have a wealth of knowledge and experience. The Garcias have owned the farm since 1994 and Antonio’s father, Alexandre was also a coffee farmer. Having studied agricultural engineering, father and son now apply the knowledge of three generations  to their farms. Having graduated in Agronomy at the Escola Superior de Agricultura de Lavras in 1972 Antonio’s specialism is plant reproduction and nutrition, while André’s area of experts is pruning and production. These guys are serious about their crop, and it shows. As well as Fazenda Santa Lucia, they also established Fazenda Jaguara in Campo das Vertentes, alongside their longtime friend Rubem Carlos Lima, in 2001. Antonio is also an agricultural inspector at the Ministry of Agriculture, Secretary of the Foundation for the Advancement of Technology in Coffee (Fundação de Apoio à Tecnologia Cafeeira) and André is a researcher at Procafé, a national body focussing the development and sustainability of the coffee  industry.

In line with the approach at Jaguara, coffee at Santa Lucia is the object of meticulous planning and consideration. The Garcias practice what they preach. They grow a range of varietals and tend to their land with the help of a team of 11 permanent staff. The overall health of the farm is of great importance, and the coffee plants at Santa Lucia are interspersed with local grasses, such as Brachiaria, banana trees and indigenous fruit trees. This adds to the diversity of crops, flora and fauna and increases the overall resilience of the farms’s ecosystem, reducing the risk of soil erosion. This is key to the sustainability of the coffee industry in Brazil, when we consider the traditional country’s historical monoculture model, and this farm in particular, given its previous use as a cattle ranch. Not only does this diversification help on the macro level, coupled with an increasing use of organic, mineral based fertilizers, and other agricultural practices with the aim of reducing dependence on agrochemicals, these measures are leading to a better, more fertile overall soil composition and nutrient balance as well as helping to preserve the microorganisms that are a fundamental part of this agricultural ecosystem.