Minas Gerais is the largest coffee-producing state of the 26 states that make up Brazil, accounting for almost half of the country’s total coffee. The landscape in Minas Gerais abounds with mountains and valleys, which give Brazilian coffees their wide-ranging flavor profiles. Consistent rainfall, high daytime temperatures, and dry winters make Minas Gerais ideal for coffee growing. Its rich, deep soil is known natively as Terra Roxa, or “purple earth.” According to FRC fan Matheus S., “This originated from the Italian immigrants who called the land ‘Terra Rossa.’ Brazilians thought they meant ‘roxa,’ and not ‘rossa,’ and the name stuck.” Fresh Roasted Coffee is proud to source our Brazilian coffee from two regions within Minas Gerais: Sul de Minas and Cerrado de Minas.
Coffee from Sul de Minas
196 family farmers in Boa Esperança make up Dos Costas, a cooperative that was established in 1989 in defense of small coffee producers. Their mission is, “Working for sustainable development and welfare of cooperative members and their families, maintaining the continuous improvement of coffee quality, with operations in domestic and international markets.” Dos Costas has been working to help rural farmers stay competitive as larger, more commercial coffee operations threaten their livelihoods.
Coffees from Sul de Minas, like our Fair Trade Organic Brazilian, have deep chocolate notes balanced by spice and earthy flavors. Grown at 930 masl this coffee is also smooth and lightly sweet.
Dos Costas grew significantly in 2008 when they were doubly certified Fair Trade and organic. This paved the way for advanced environmental and social development, and better labor practices which further helped protect farmers from getting overwhelmed by larger, better-funded corporations.
Coffee from Cerrado de Minas
Our other Brazilian coffees are grown in Cerrado de Minas (aka Cerrado Mineiro), a region within Minas Gerais that has its own Designation of Origin status. Coffees cannot be called “Cerrado” unless they originate from Cerrado Mineiro. Seasons here are well defined, meaning the weather is more or less predictable year to year, allowing producers to anticipate consistent high-quality yields. Coffees from Cerrado Mineiro are sweet, mild, and bright, growing on flat land between 200 and 800 masl.
To put a pleasant twist on this delicate coffee, we dark roast it, which allows bold cocoa notes to develop into an overall balanced brew. This dark roast Brazilian bold coffee has a smooth drinkability with no burnt or lingering finish and possesses the nutty flavor profile found in all high-quality Brazilian coffee beans. If you love a good dark roast, this is the coffee for you.
On the flipside, we have our Specialty Reserve Brazil Fazenda Santa Luzia, grown in Campos Altos, Minas Gerais, at 1,200 masl. At this elevation, coffee starts to develop florals notes as well as essences reminiscent of nuts and chocolate-covered citrus fruits, so we roast it more lightly to maintain these flavors. Though mild bodied and gently acidic, this coffee is deeply fragrant and produces a fruity, berry-heavy mid-palate flavor and striking finish.
Owned by José Maria de Oliveira, Fazenda Santa Luzia produces the majority of the region’s Bourbon varieties, as well as natural- and honey-processed coffee. Oliveira is committed to forming relationships and establishing a direct connection with the roasters who purchase his coffee. Fazenda Santa Luzia is a think tank of sorts for process innovation and experimentation that benefits both the environment and the future of Brazilian coffee. Oliveira prides his operation on being fully transparent and sustainable, demonstrated in Fazenda Santa Luzia’s Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certifications that guarantee their practices are sustainable and help the region.
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