|Dry Fragrance (1-5)
||Notes: Fazenda Boa Vista was the lot we wanted from the outset of the 2002 Brazil C.O.E. Auction, even though the International judges didn't put it in their top 5. I cupped all the samples that were expedited to us in the days before the auction (December '02) and what surprised me was the uncharacteristic acidity in the top 5 coffees. Indeed, the Panel had chosen winning coffees that were more like Guatemalan and Costa Rican coffees than those with true Brazilian origin character. And in a cupping with Guat or CR those coffees wouldn't have ranked that well. I wanted a coffee with exceptional Brazilian character, and that was why we went after the Boa Vista (and it seems others did to because the bidding for this lot was fierce, changing ownership more than 20 times in the day. The BSCA provides a lot of information about this farm: Faz. Boa Vista is a part of the much larger farm, Fazenda Tabuoes. Tabuoes is run by an agronomist, and it quite an elaborate operation, with an amazing amount of land and variety of coffee cultivars growing there: 1,447.22 hectares, with the following varieties under production: Acaiá, Aramosa, Yellow Bourbon, Red Bourbon, Caturra, Typica, Mundo Novo, Yellow Icatu, Red Icatu and Catuaí. The Boa Vista plot is Yellow Icatu, and was selected as the best cup quality of the coffees from Tabuoes and entered into the Cup of Excellence auction. With an altitude of 1,150 meters and average temperatures of approximately 22 Celsius the region has well defined seasons during the year, enhancing the production of the best coffees. Harvesting in the fields is partly mechanized and partly manual. The harvested coffee is immediately transferred from production fields to washers. The water used to process coffee is from artesian wells, and after being used, it is treated and used for irrigation, eliminating any possibility of damage to nature. The beans are dried under the sun in concrete terraces for three days. Immediately after, the beans are transferred to the dryers that use hot water as their source of heat. The temperature of the dryers does not go beyond 30 Celsius. The beans are removed from the dryers when they reach 11 percent humidity. Initially, coffee is stocked in wooden bins for a period of approximately 60 days to homogenize bean humidity. Subsequently, the coffee is ready to be reprocessed and packaged in burlap bags. Drying under the sun is made in fine layers and the coffee is turned many times during the day to ensure homogeneity and to avoid any possibility of fermentation. Dryers possess an absolute temperature control that is in contact with the beans, allowing them to be dried uniformly and consistently. Beans are electronically selected using a SORTEX 90.000 equipment, ensuring their accuracy and consistency. The cup? It is very Brazilian: there is a pronounced dry-roasted peanut flavor in the lighter roasts, exceptional body, hints of dark fruit, and a pleasant smoke in the aftertaste. Its a cup that is subtle and doesn't really come into its own until the cup has cooled a bit. Roasted to a Full City + (a few snaps into second, and I prefer this roast) the origin character persists with more sharp nutty notes, and a pleasant carbony-smokey flavor that emerges in the aftertaste (which is quite long). It is exceptional as espresso, but not when roasted too light, in which case it is sour. Roasted to a solid Vienna, then rested 2 days, it is a great Ristretto (short espresso). Some cups seem to have more of these deep fruit notes, and sometimes I have trouble finding it. But this makes it a pleasure when it is there!