New Single Origin Coffee: Brazil Fazenda Rio Claro
"Way down among Brazilians, coffee beans grow by the billions. So they've got to find those extra cups to fill. They have got an awful lots of coffee in Brazil." Who doesn't know this song written by Bob Hilliard and Dick Miles, and of course made famous and sung by Frank Sinatra -The Coffee Song.
Blasting the song now in the background while sipping an espresso and writing this article, brought me all the way back to year 2007 while contributing to an article then and being asked what my favourite single origin was. Being a barista and a lover for words, I remember writing this, "A sip takes me to places, mind drifting away and my heart beating to the fast rhythm of Samba!" It was a Brazilian then that fascinated me to start drinking espresso from a single origin, when the whole world was still raving about blends. It was a Brazilian too that I used in my first barista competition in year 2009 and no surprise either, a Brazilian again, blended with Ethiopians for my winning routine in 2010 and 2011. So much love for coffees from this origin!
It is of no surprise that being responsible for green coffee buying here in Dutch Colony, we features a lot of Brazilian single origins over the year as well as blending them up for our award winning Dutch Blend (we won 2 medals again in April 2019 but more to this a few articles down the road) There may be not too many specialty roasters who source, buy and roast this origin, citing it to be very basic flavours, boring or too safe but here in Dutch Colony, we always believe that it is the linkway bridge for new consumers who enjoys their traditional kopi to cross over before exploring to more exotics origins like our Ethiopians, Colombians or Kenyans. At the same time, we are always keeping a lookout for head turning Brazilians, away from your usual nuts & molasses but fruit forward and cocoa-berry driven. In late 2018, we tasted and fell in love with one - Fazenda Rio Claro.
In our yearly pursuit to source for the best tasting Brazilian origin as our staples, we are proud to introduce Fazenda Rio Claro. Coming from a three generations coffee farm, Rio Claro simply means ‘clear river’, named after the neighbourhood where the farm is founded. A rare Yellow Catuai varietal also means one will expect interesting fruit notes that one don’t expect from a Brazilian origin. This 100% Yellow Catuaí lot was processed using the natural method. After harvesting, the coffee is sorted to remove debris and any severely damaged cherries and is then put directly onto the farm’s patios, where it will dry for approximately 7 days, being turned frequently to ensure even drying. The coffee is then moved to mechanical driers, where it is dried at low temperatures until it reaches around 12% humidity.
Fazenda Rio Claro has been in Heleno Bachião Dolivo’s family for three generations. Heleno’s father, Ricardo Bachião, was a truly great coffee producer. He was born on the farm and learned to cultivate coffee from childhood. When he finally took control of the family farm, he had little access to technology, yet he would consistently produce 800 to 1,000 bags of coffee every year. His abilities as a farmer became renowned, and he was even elected as the Mayor of Nova Resende in 1978, though he unfortunately passed away shortly afterward. Since this time, Heleno has tried his best to following his father’s footsteps. He says, “I’ve been following the family tradition since then, keeping with the coffee cultivation and, gladly, my son is doing the same thing.”
Our team who was in Belo Horizonte for the World Cup Taster Championship in November 2018 also took the opportunity to visit the farm, further enhancing this buying relationship into a friendship that we both hope to last in years to come.
Fazenda Rio Claro is now available in all our shops as a 250gm retail bags for the home brewers and coffee aficionados as well as in our shop hoppers from the 15th of April onwards to possibly the whole month of May 2019. Try it, leave us your feedbacks on our social media or post a photo and tag us at #dcccoffees #dccrioclaro #dutchcolony We look forward to hearing from you.