As Fresh Roasted Coffee continues to grow, so does our desire to produce products with integrity and positive social impact. In an effort to source coffees that our customers both love and learn from, origin trips have become an incredible opportunity for the Fresh Roasted team.
All of our coffee offerings that display our custom Direct Trade logo have been sourced at origin. To improve our transparency and the shopability of these unique coffees, we’ve created our Specialty Reserve line.
By meeting directly with farmers, we are able to provide higher premiums for exceptional products. Coffees can be sourced in a number of ways, including a more traditional route of purchasing through reputable green suppliers. While this method is widely used by us and others, we seek out every opportunity we can to make direct connections with both the land and the people who nurture the crop from seed to cup.
In July of 2018, owner and CEO Andrew Oakes and son Ethan boarded a plane to Campos Altos Brazil for an immersive, 7 day coffee farming excursion. This was their first origin trip together as a team.
Location Is Everything
Campos Altos is located in the state of Minas Gerais Brazil. The Cerrado Mineiro region is known for being the only intersectional place in the entire country where Atlantic Forest and the Brazilian Rainforest meet. With existing natural forests and tree cover nearby, the land was immediately suitable for growing exceptional coffee without the need to disturb the landscape or habitats.
The combination of these two amazing biomes creates the perfect storm; ample and timely precipitation and acidity from prized Cerrado Mineiro soil. Campos Altos can produce versatile and unique Brazilian lots due to the impact of these micro-climates.
The tour included a stay on the Fazenda Serrinha farm where countless coffee trees were visible from the living quarters. The neighboring farm, Fazenda Santa Luzia was where the majority of the coffee education took place. Andy and Ethan witnessed the coffee production at various stages, and sampled completed products that were roasted in-house as part of an elaborate and educational cupping experience.
Fazenda Santa Luzia is situated on the top of a very large hill. The farms, 4 in total, ranging from 1000 - 1250 meters above sea level. The coffee plants are organized and separately cultivated on each individual farm at Campos Altos to provide full traceability and promote each special coffee as a unique business opportunity.
A Learning Experience
When José Maria acquired the initial land which would become one of the four total farms of Campos Altos, he knew bringing recognition to the region would become a top priority. Brazil is one of the largest coffee producing countries in the world. While noted for its grip on mass production of coffee, the issue of quality versus quantity has always plagued Brazilian coffee farmers.
José Maria’s focus on quality and traceability ultimately led him to encourage buyers like Fresh Roasted Coffee to visit the farm to learn about all Brazilian coffee had to offer. With his own dry mill in house (constructed in 2014) Maria cut his ties with external facilities and was able to process the coffees right off of the land. This helped to add jobs and truly make the farms at Campos Altos a true stand out. Andy and Ethan were able to see first hand how the coffees were grown, processed and sold without any supply chain intermediaries. The dedication to organized and thoughtful growing, processing and selling has created coffees which consistently score over 90 points and above.
José also assumed all of the risk by handling all of the import and export responsibility, something truly uncommon for many farmers in similar situations. Putting family and financial situations on the line, he was able to bring his amazing product to California gaining industry exposure in the US and beyond. US buyers were immediately impressed and Maria was able to share ideas and techniques with major players in the coffee world which he brought home to Brazil to implement at Campos Altos.
After developing lasting relationships with US buyers and learning about new and improved techniques for washing, drying and processing, the original amazing coffees that were being produced in Brazil could be transformed into something new entirely. On this trip, Andy and Ethan were able to witness unique and original methods of honey processing, eco washing and controlled fermentation with the use of local tropical fruits. Due to the nature of the processing, no two batches are alike and the possibilities are endless when it comes to developing the flavor and profile of Brazilian coffee. We were thrilled to be able to bring back some of these amazing coffees, which will be available for a limited time starting this fall.
To shop our newest addition to the Fresh Roasted Coffee Specialty Reserve line, click here.