Cherry, amaretto, vanilla
Another coffee that is going to break those preconceptions and goes against the industry norm. A super fruity and aromatic Brazil. YUP !
This comes to us as part of Algrano's Discovery series of auctions and to celebrate the 5th anniversary of their love affair with Brazil they launched the first-ever Algrano quality competition which they named "Go grab a seat because coffee is coming". The concept of the Discovery series is to highlight the extraordinary flavour profiles available in particular countries through novel processing techniques, new varieties and the outstanding talents of the farmers.
This competition had two stages: firstly growers submitted their stories through videos and enhanced profiles on the Algrano platform, of which 30 growers passed to the sensory phase. Algrano received 53 samples! They were sent to a lab in Varginha, Minas Gerais, where they were cupped by an independent heavy-weight jury headed by Jack Robson, one of Brazil’s first Q Graders and the only certified Brazilian Q Instructor! Jack was joined by Francisco Lentini Neto - Q grader, manager of Minasul’s specialty coffee department and Cup of Excellence judge since 2011 - and William Batista Mariano - Q Grader, part of Minasul’s QC team and judge in multiple national competitions.
This was a 9 bag lot from Rafael Vinhal one of the owners of his family's 'Vinhal Cafés Artesanais' and came in 6th in the competition scoring an incredible 88.5 points on the SCA grading scale. We were lucky to secure 2 sacks of this beauty.
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 this year they had never exported directly and this is Rafael's main project with their best and most exclusive lots, like this 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 64 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 36 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 7 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".