Ze Alexandre, Brazil 310g bagRegular price$21.25 Sale price
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This will be Highwire's first single origin offering from Brazil! This coffee comes from a farm called Forquilha do Rio which sits on the border between the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo amid the hills outside of the Caparaó National Park. José (Ze) Alexandre Lacerda and his family have done much to put the Caparaó region on the map of specialty coffee. Up until the mid 2010s, the region was generally though to produce only low quality coffee, however Ze, along with a number of other producers in the region, have upped their game, claiming top spots in Brazil's national coffee competitions though care and hard work.
Forquilha do Rio is not only changing minds at home. Brazilian coffee are often thought of as blender-only coffees—at best kind of nutty and sweet, due in no small part to the large factory farming practices in places like Minas Gerais' Cerrado growing region. Caparaó is different both goegraphically and climatically from othe mass-produciton regions of Brazil. The hilly to mountainous terrain means that coffee is gown at slightly higher elevations, the slopes more like what you would find in Central America. The elevation and relative proximity to the ocean means cooler temperatures throught the harvest period, slowing maturity and increasing complexity. Coffee has to be picked by hand rather than harvested by machines, meaning that coffee can be pick in several passes, selecting only the ripest coffee cherries. This hands on approach extends to the processing of the coffee as well.
This red Catuai variety coffee is carefully selected and then plaiced on raised drying beds in the cherry. This 'natural' process tends to impart a fruited, sweet character to the coffee that for us tasted like a creamy, strawberry frosting with a caramelized nuttiness.