We would like to thank Falcon Coffees for being able to provide us with the information used below.
Each of our Coffees have a unique process & story behind them
Brazil Sao Paolo
Sao Paulo is a relatively new farm having been established as recently as 2008. However, there is by no means a lack of experience since the farm is owned by the Montanari family and is managed by fourth generation brothers, Roger and Marcello. Under the watchful eye of their highly experienced coffee farming father, the brothers are pushing the boundaries of modern coffee farming in Brazil.
The Montanaris are descendants of Italian immigrants and Fazenda Sao Paulo is located close to the town of Patrocinio in the heart of the Cerrado in Minas Gerais. The altitude is 950 to 1, 100 MASL. The farm is one of three owned by the family and the other two, Rainha de Paz and Montanari III, are located close by. Like many farms in the region, most of the tasks have been mechanised – in particular the harvesting and incredibly the three farms are run by just seven members of staff. It’s astonishing to think that a farm of a similar size as Sao Paulo (70 hectares) in a country such as Nicaragua or Guatemala, would require more than 500 people to pick the coffee during the peak of harvest. The flat lay of the land is seldom seen in other coffee producing countries and it is this factor that allows for mechanical harvesting. The Montanaris have angled their neat ‘hedgerows’ of coffee at 330 degrees from north as they have ascertained that this will provide the trees with the longest hours of sunlight.
17 varietals are grown across the farm to ensure that ripening and harvesting can be planned across a greater period of time to avoid bottlenecks at the processing areas and drying patios. These include Mundo Novo, Topazio, Catuai, Rubi, Acaia and Yellow Bourbon. These coffees are processed separately and as such we can cup them all to find the very best to import into the UK. A test plot on the farm allows the family to grow new and different varietals which can be studied for yield, resistance to disease and cup value. Marcello is an agricultural engineer so takes a keen interest in this area as he plans out the future of the farm. A range of varietals will of course bring about different cup profiles and the same can be said of the processing techniques that are employed too.
This lot of pulped natural Catuai has been picked and pulped to remove all mucilage before being immediately dried on African style raised beds for air drying. This results in a cleaner cup than natural processed coffee, with brighter notes and a lighter body but with greater complexity. In recent times a new pulping system has been introduced that allows for a reduction in water by 75%. All processing takes place on the farm and the coffee is only hulled at the point of export and packed into grain pro sacks in order to preserve flavour and freshness.
El Salvador - Los Pirineos
Los Pirineos Coffee farm has been in the Baraona Family from more than 120 years, since 1880. Gilberto Baraona is a 15 times winner of Cup of Excellence in El Salvador, 6 of which were in the top ten. The Farm is located at the top of the Tecapa Volcano, in the Tecapa Chinameca Coffee Region. The farm has been the experimental ground for several new varietal projects, such as the Central America F1 variety.
Currently Los Pirineos is starting to grow more than 10 new varietals that will start producing in 2017. New varietals include Orange Pacamara, Geisha, Bourbon Elite, Bourbon Laurina, Javas, and Kenya. For the lowers altitudes below 1200 meters varietals such as Castillo Naranjal, Costa Rica 95, Lempira, Obata, and Casiopea. Gilberto has a seed garden of 69 varieties and is also now becoming a verified seed distributor of Pacamara, Tekisic & Catisic for World Coffee Research.The farm and Mill have 50 full time employees taking on a further 75 during the peak of the harvest. Gilberto’s obsession with quality means he pays well above the legal minimum wages to all his staff. He requires far more precision and attention to detail than the average coffee farm and so must invest time and money in the people who manage the processing.
Due to the training and support he offers even his temporary staff are consistent from year to year.Gilberto’s dedication to quality is uncompromising. He has the largest coffee seed bank in private hands in El Salvador and is constantly testing and exploring new options for unique cup character. It is with great excitement that we are working with him and hope to extend our offering from his farms in the coming years. This coffee was harvested by hand and then screened for floaters before being pulped and then then fermented for 12 - 24 hours in tiled tanks without water before undergoing a further soaking for 24 hours. The coffee is then transferred from there to dry on raised beds for 7 days.
Kenya Mutero AB
Mutero Estate is located in Kirinyaga County, around 100 km north of Kenya’s capital Nairobi. The owner of Mutero is Mr Alvans Mutero, and the farm has around 9 acres of coffee planted with teh SL 28 & 34 varieties.
Alvans has outfitted his small factory with a small pulping machine, and several fermentation tanks and washing channels to allow him to process his won coffee adding value and then being able to sell through the second window and not being left exposed to the auction fluctuations.After pulping, fermenting for 24 hours and washing the coffee, the parchment is dried on raised beds allowing for air circulation around the drying coffee for between 10 -14 days.
Decaf - Guatemalan
El Rincon is a 25 hectare farm situated in the corner of a valley of limestone hills, protected from warm, dry winds and climate fluctuations. The climate is very stable with high relative humidity, which, along with the chalky soils of Huehuetenango define the cup character of this farm. Roberto Molina was the cousin of Jorge Vides the first owner of Finca La Bolsa, and they bought and established the farms around the same time. Roberto passed away in 2009 and his widow Yolanda Galindo is now taking care of the farm. The farm is now run by Renardo Ovalle, who has transformed the production towards quality focussed microlots. Many of the plants are old bourbon and caturra trees from the early years of the farm, but the farm manager is in the process of planting new bourbon and caturra plants, along with other exotic varietals.Coffee is fermented dry in tiled tanks for 18-24 hours, before being washed and graded in channels. After the mucilage has been washed off, the coffee is soaked overnight in clean water. This step is more common in African processing, and is rare in Guatemala, but adds to the unique cup profile of this farm.The process is outlined below:The green beans enter a ‘pre-treatment’ vessel where they are cleaned and moistened with water before being brought into contact with pressurised liquid carbon dioxide. When the green coffee beans absorb the water, they expand and the pores are opened resulting in the caffeine molecules becoming mobile.After the water has been added, the beans are then brought into contact with the pressurised liquid carbon dioxide which combines with the water to essentially form sparkling water. The carbon dioxide circulates through the beans and acts like a magnet, drawing out the mobile caffeine molecules.The sparkling water then enters an evaporator which precipitates the caffeine rich carbon dioxide out of the water. The now caffeine free water is pumped back into the vessel for a new cycle.This cycle is repeated until the required residual caffeine level is reached. Once this has happened, the circulation of carbon dioxide is stopped and the green beans are discharged into a drier.The decaffeinated coffee is then gently dried until it reaches its original moisture content, after which it is ready for roasting.There are several benefits to using this process for decaffeination:The agent used for extracting the caffeine is entirely natural and the process can be classified as ‘organic’ due to the complete lack of chemicals used throughout. There is also no health risk by consuming coffee that has been decaffeinated in this way.The way the process works means the other compounds in the green bean are left untouched, meaning decaffeination has no effect on the flavour and aroma of the finished product. The carbon dioxide is very selective and doesn’t extract the carbohydrates and proteins in the green bean which contribute to flavour and smell.The cell structure of the green bean and the finished roasted bean is unchanged which is of great advantage when working with speciality coffees.The by-products are 100% natural and recyclable.