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60% Brazil: Bom Jesus (Rainforest Alliance & UTZ Certified) 40%: El Salvador: El Borbollon (Rainforest Alliance)
We've worked hard over the past year to perfect our iconic blue label Casa. Given that speciality coffee is all about seasonal harvests, we can confidently reproduce our taste profile with Brazilian and Central American Arabica beans.
We use for the base the incredible Mundo Novo Arabica bean from the Bom Jesus farm. We source this coffee directly from Gabriel and Flavia, the owners, so we can be assured of the high quality of the coffee. (Read more about them on the "NERD ZONE" tab above). This Brazilian bean has an amazing sweetness, yet the punch needed to cut through milky espresso-machine based drinks. So, its the ideal base for our Casa Espresso blend. It's also ideal as a stand alone single origin, for those of you who like extra body in the cup.
As its bezzy mate, we've chosen the typical chocolatey flavours of an El Salvador Arabica. It's a Red Bourbon varietal, a favourite of ours and a delight to roast. Honestly, we're spoiling y'all with this unbeliveable house blend. (Don't take my word for it though ... just look at what you're saying on the REVIEWS tab above!)
So what's our objective? We want...
- A coffee that's got the boldness through an espresso machine as an unadulturated espresso, yet has the body and punch to compliment all milky drinks - A blend of 100% single-origin Arabica beans that tastes amazing, without any hint of the astringency you'll find with Robusta coffee - To remain committed to using farms whose produce is fully traceable. With this provenance, we can rely on an excellent crop from each harvest. And in this way, we can reproduce a consistent roast profile and keep you smiling - A taste profile that has good balance, a full-mouthfeel, with nutty and dark chocolate notes and a refreshing berry finish
Brew Method: Made to measure for an espresso machine. If you have a home espresso machine, then our "blue label" is an essential companion. It's also absolutely cracking to use with a stove top - see our range of Bialetti - a great way to start the morning that keeps to a tight budget. And because we roast fresh at least once a week, you'll get the very best our of this amazing 100% Arabica blend. As we say in Cumbria: “Champion”.
For more information about the beans, click on the "Nerd Zone" tab about ... you geeks, you!
Farm: Bom Jesus Varietal: Mundo Novo Processing: Natural process, sun-dried 30 days of resting period Altitude: 1,000 metres above sea level Owner: Gabriel e Flavia Lancha de Oliveira Region: Cristais Paulistas, Alta Mogiana Country: Brazil
COFFEE The coffee from Fazenda Bom Jesus has a bright and remarkable acidity with hints of chocolate and walnuts. It leaves a very light and pleasant aftertaste. Notes of brown sugar make it a naturally sweet cup. A hint of maple syrup can also be detected. Its stunning aroma is very soft and sophisticated. The sweetness of the coffee is a result of the coffee varietal Mundo Novo and the natural process. The sugar in the coffee cherry is passed on to the bean as the coffee cherries are all dried together, removing the husks just after the coffee reaches a humidity of 11.5 %. The coffee is grown at an altitude of around 1,000 metres above sea level. This allows for ideal levels of rainfall of approximately 1,000mm per year. The constant temperatures of 20-25 C make for ideal conditions for growth of healthy coffee trees and cherries.
FARMERS Fazenda Bom Jesus is the work of the couple Gabriel and Flavia Lancha Oliveira. With a long heritage in coffee culture both are grandchildren of coffee producers. They themselves passed their love and care on to their sons, Lucas and Gabriel junior who are also dedicated full-time to the farm. In 1984 they formed The Labareda Group, diversifying into various rural activities although coffee is still the most foremost in family hearts and indeed remains their main crop. Fazenda Bom Jesus is located in Cristais Paulistas in the Alta Mogiana Region. Gabriel and Flavia are more than just a farming couple. Their objective is to sustainably develop their region from a social and economical point of view. Fazenda Bom Jesus was a founder of the Alta Mogiana Specialty Coffee Association - AMSC. It promotes a greater conscience with regard to speciality coffee in the region as well as developing better farm practices. Performance bonus payments are also made alongside employees fixed wages. Flavia verifies that all employees on the farm must be literate and receive specialized training to do their job. As for the workforce, all their children must be enrolled at the local school.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Fazenda Bom Jesus has over 140 hectares of Natural Reserve where a huge diversity of fauna and flora can be found. Annual auditors come to collect data on both vegetation and wildlife which, in turn, is catalogued by Rainforest Alliance researchers. All the products used on the farm are not only allowed but recommended. As it produces its own compost used on the farm. Fazenda Bom Jesus contributes socially with events such as GIMA – where children from 9 small surrounding towns come to take part in a treasure hunt. Over 400 children participate in general knowledge tests and a sports day on the Bom Jesus Farm. Only state educated children take part in the events and the prizes are sponsored by the farm itself and Australian roasters that also do direct trade.
QUALITY AND CERTIFICATION Fazenda Bom Jesus Coffee was the first Farm in the Alta Mogiana Region to be certified by UTZ in 2006. Every stage must be monitored and recorded to allow 100% traceability of the coffee, which is only one of UTZ's requirements. The farm is a member of the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association. Fazenda Bom Jesus has also been Rainforest Alliance (RFA) Certified since 2008. The importance of the certification is for both environment and social reasons. Recycling is encouraged in all farm buildings and the correct use of safety equipment is a further requirement of RFA. Fazenda Bom Jesus achieved a scored of 98% from the (RFA) auditors last year. The coffee is certified and exported to over 10 countries including Australia, Germany, USA and now Great Britain.
Acidity – 7 - 7.5 Mild acidity, pleasant
Sweetness – 7.5 - 8 Excellent sweetness with more sugars being absorbed from the pulp
Character – 7.75 - 8 Plum-like, nutty, chocolate on the darker side
Body – 8 - 8.5 Medium to full body
Balance – 7.5- 8.5 Good balance
EL Salvador: El Borbollon
Farm: La Reforma & Santa Maria Varietal: 100% Red Bourbon Processing: Fully washed and sundried on clay patios Altitude: 1,400 to 1,500 metres above sea level Owner: The Alvarez Family Town: Santa Ana Region: Santa Ana Volcano (Apaneca-Ilamatepec) Country: El Salvador Total size of farm: 55 hectares total Area under coffee: 51 hectares total Prizes: Reforma: 3rd – El Salvador COE, 2011 (Score 91.72)
The Alvarez family has been growing coffee in El Salvador for a century and over four generations. Their award-winning farms are located on the lush green hills of Santa Ana, in the west of the country, whose rich volcanic soils and mild climate provide ideal conditions for growing coffee. The beans, which comprise El Borbollon, come from two small neighbouring farms - La Reforma and Santa Maria. They are manually picked and collected in traditional hand-woven baskets from December until March. Only the best, fully mature coffee cherries are selected.
Finca La Reforma and Finca Santa Maria were established by Rafail Alvarez in 1892 on the rich, humid slopes of Santa Ana Volcano. Originally from Colombia, Don Rafael came to the region with some of his best coffee seeds and began a new legacy of coffee production. Four generations later, the Alvarez Diaz brothers manage the farms, which are planted exclusively with red burbon variety coffee trees, despite recent upheavals with leaf rust.
El Borbollon mill is managed by Eduardo Alvarez, whose father passed down his technical skills. Of the 15 high-altitude farms, 10 have won places in the Cup of Excellence and 4, including La Reforma the COE Presidential Award for scores of over 90 points.
Coffee beans are pulped without water and then fermented for 16 - 20 hours until peel fermentation is achieved. The coffee is then washed in clean, fresh water to remove the mucilage. The parchment coffee is then placed onto the expansive patios and dried in the sun and regularly turned by hand.
Clay patios are used as they have superior endothermic properties (absorption of heat) than concrete and thus regulate temperature much better. The coffee beans are dried for 9 to 10 days in this way and the slower drying time seems to improve the cup quality.
The meticulous attention to detail shown at every stage of production - from harvesting to wet milling to cupping - has enabled the family to continue through the struggles of the past 20 years.