ProducerOlney Barreira Jr.
Cup ProfileRounded, peachy acidity, nougat, light praline
PreparationNatural, patio dried
TerroirFazenda Santa Barbara, Minas Gerais
Santa Barbara is part of the new wave of Brazilian farmers aiming to break from the traditional mould of consumers’ expectations of Brazilian coffee. Despite Brazil’s reputation for producing coffees with low acidity and flavour profiles centered around nuttiness and chocolate, this coffee bucks the trend. Our “Barbara” gives you a big, rounded peachy hit of fruit up front before coming together and delivering sweet sweet nougat and hints of praline. Our roast on this coffee brings out its best aspects by taking its intrinsic sweetness and boosting its rounded mellow acidity to the forefront. Barbara is already proving popular as both a single origin espresso and batch brew and in the coming months we will roast and deliver more of this coffee than any other.
Brazil’s reputation for bland commercial coffee is not unfounded, but is certainly rooted in the past. In recent years however Brazilian farmers have seen the the possibility of producing high quality coffees that demonstrate the characteristics of their terroir and express the nuances of their particular varietal, farm and post-harvest processing, creating diverse lots that showcase what Brazilian coffee farmers are truly capable of. This shift of consciousness has occurred at a national level, and is plain to see on every coffee sack that leaves the country: where each sack was proudly labelled ‘CAFE DO BRASIL’, we now see ‘CAFES DO BRASIL’.
There has been a shift away from the bulk of generic “Brazilian coffee” to “Coffees of Brazil” showing an appreciation of the diversity of flavour profiles from the various coffee growing regions in Brazil.
Fazenda Santa Barbara is great example of Brazilian coffee farming with the focus clearly on producing quality coffee with maximum efficiency. Since taking on the farm in 2012 Olney Barreira Junior has been making the most of the resources as his disposal to do justice to the conditions of his farm. Located in one of the highest areas of Minas Gerais, Olney’s farm has a fantastic microclimate.
The 1100-1200 meter elevation of his farm provides relatively cool conditions where coffee his coffee plants can develop at a relatively slow rate, allowing the byproducts of cellular respiration to accumulate in the cherry. As we know, these compounds are the basis for the acidity we value so much is speciality coffee.
Given the climatic and soil conditions at Santa Barbara, Olney Barreira’s investments in varietal diversification as well as processing infrastructure since taking over the farm are showing their value.
One fifth of the farm’s land is given over to nature reserves, while the majority is planted with Acaiá whose large leaves and fruits thrive when planted with the kind of spacing between trees that favours mechanical harvesting. Olney has a good relationship with the neighbouring farmers, contributing education, advice and experience in exchange for a helping hand during the busy harvest season. Once the fruit has been collected, it is thinly spread on patios for dry processing, with temperatures and fermentation controlled via constant monitoring and raking throughout the day.