Our second offering from Fazenda Recanto this year and this time a 'washed' Topazio. Rafael likes to give his coffees names that for him describe a combination of the process and the profile. This is a triple fermented washed Topazio that he's given the name 'Lemongrass' (no, before you ask, there was no lemongrass added to the process at any point).
Since 1988 Vinhal have been producing very high quality coffees in the heart of Minas Gerais state, Cerrado Mineiro region. They are a family run business and are certified by Rainforest Alliance, 4C (Common Code for the Coffee Community) and Certifica Minas and are also members of BSCA (Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association). Their focus is on quality to ensure that their coffees stand out both in the domestic and foreign markets. They have already received many awards in some of the main quality contests in Brazil.
Rafael, is Afonso and Marcélia's eldest son, and is in charge of the commercial development of the farm and brand. Until 2020 they had never exported directly and this is Rafael's main project with their best and most exclusive lots, like this Triple Fermented Topázio, on offer on Algrano's sourcing platform.
At Vinhal, they have been trialling multiple processes for years and have found that combining different processes results in greater cup profiles. This lot is what they call Fermented Fully Washed. They start picking the cherries with a mechanical harvester (mechanical harvesting doesn't mean that the quality will be less because they work the farm to ensure an even flowering season and even maturation and then always separate the greens and the floaters on the first wash). The selected varietal was Topázio, a cross of Mundo Novo and Catuaí, which is a yellow colour when ripe. After picking they wash the coffee to separate the mature cherries and put them in a big bag for fermenting. It stays there for 61 hours with constant monitoring of the temperature and the pH. Then the cherries are depulped to remove the skin and mucilage and fermented again for another 124 hours in a tank with water to develop acidity. Their objective of this second fermentation is to drop the pH even further, to just under 4, to highlight the acidity. After that, they wash one last time and centrifuge the beans which stops the fermentation, removes all potential residue of mucilage and helps to speed the drying process. This lot was then dried on raised beds with constant moving of the beans under partial shade of native palms for 22 days.
Vinhal is also part of a very exciting project in partnership with EMATER and the Cerrado Federation. They have selected 10 farms in Minas to trial growing 5 new exotic varieties which are not yet available anywhere else. The experiment is about to enter the “field phase” and they will plant a thousand trees of each variety, monitoring them and seeing what the coffees taste like. In Rafael's words "I tell you, Gesha will soon be a thing of the past".