Shockingly, the Table has yet to be graced by a single origin from Brazil in 2013. I sincerely don’t know how this happened.
Brazil, after all, is one of the top coffee-producing regions in the world. Furthermore, it’s a region that, much like its stiffest American competition, Colombia, is progressively putting out better and better coffee with every harvest. This, really, is a travesty because Brazilian coffees—again, just as their Colombian counterparts did—are quickly becoming near and dear to my heart.
Thankfully, and not a moment too soon, the fine folks at Seattle Coffee Gear and Velton’s Coffee teamed up to remedy the situation.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Brazil Condado Estate, from Velton’s Coffee Roasting Company in Everett, Washington. Feel free to pull up a chair.
The coffee is grown in the Carmo de Minas, Condado region in Brazil. Ibraim Chaib owns Condado Estate, which was established in the late 1800’s and purchased by the Chaib family in the 1980’s. Ibraim and Marley are third and fourth generation coffee growers.
Coffee farming truly runs in this family as Ibraim’s and Marly’s brother-in-law, Sergio Dias, is the owner of Canaan Estate in Carmo de Minas, but lives primarily in Seattle and works the importing side when he is in the United States.
Condado Estate is situated at an altitude of 1275 meters and the coffee varietal is a Yellow Catuai. The bean is a Late Harvest Natural, which means the fruit actually begins to dry on the tree, then the workers pick each cherry by hand and it is finished using the pulped natural process (miel), followed by patio-drying.
origin: Carmo de Minas, Brazil
farm: Condado Estate
producer: Ibraim Chaib de Sousa, Marly Dias de Sousa
elevation: 1275 meters above sea level
cultivars: Yellow Catuai
process: pulped natural
The aroma of the Brazil Condado Estate is akin to Mexican hot chocolate: raw cocoa nibs, cinnamon, vanilla bean, and almond. It has a rich sweetness to it, and just a touch of spice that tickles the nostrils.
The first few sips are a little unusual. It has those Mexican hot chocolate notes that where present in the aroma (and, quite frankly, I don’t see any way they wouldn’t be—those features were so prevalent and so delightful, I would have been disappointed if they didn’t show up in the flavor profile too) and they’re accompanied by a roasted marshmallow-y flavor and mouthfeel and plenty of mixed nuts in the finish of each sip: almond, chestnut, hazelnut. However, these are also accompanied by a weird papery flavor that almost overpowers all the other pleasant flavors up front and leaves behind a somewhat astringent mouthfeel.
As it cools off, though, that paper flavor disappears and is replaced by almost syrupy fruits; I’m tasting raspberry, cherry, Fuji apple, pomegranate, pear, fig, raisin, black grape, and a mellow blood orange acidity that rounds out the bottom of the cup.
Medium body; syrupy mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
Brazil’s first showing at the Table in 2013 was a pretty good one. Granted, the Brazil Condado Estate, from Velton’s Coffee Roasting Company, has some real issues working against it (RE: that dominant papery flavor), but overall, it was a solid cup.
I tried a few different ways to combat that papery flavor up front and the Technivorm Moccamaster and the Clever seemed to handle it best, so it’s at least manageable; but I couldn’t find a clear way to get rid of it all together. Other than that, though, the flavors are strong, the profile is well-rounded, it has decent clarity (particularly towards the bottom of the cup), and it provides an enjoyable sipping experience.
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