Welcoming Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza

It’s still winter here in Boston, a fact that I try to ignore during my daily bicycle commute to the Fazenda Roastery. In spite of the weather here, I find myself thinking warmer thoughts in anticipation of the coming coffee harvest. You see, in the Southern Hemisphere it’s more like fall than winter or for that matter, spring –it’s harvest time. When I opened the door at the Roastery this Monday, I was surprised to find that the first of a series of new coffees had arrived. There it was, in all its glory, a fresh pallet of a new Brazilian coffee.

What a great way to start the week. Today I will begin the long process of perfecting a roast profile for our new Brazilian, an organically grown coffee from a community of smallholder Brazilian farmers dedicated to best practices in sustainable agriculture. Some very special coffees are being produced there at theFazenda Ambiental Fortaleza (FAF), a project which also serves as a platform for community development and empowerment. I couldn’t be more excited to have discovered this farm and this coffee…

What I have in stock from them currently is the FAF Bob-O-Link coffee, a natural process arabica featuring Catui and Mundo Novo beans which I cupped last week (for the curious, here’s a good overview of arabica varietals). We discovered this coffee through a partnership with Sofa Café, a Brazilian style café opening this year on Newbury Street that has a lot of style and that is coming to Boston straight from Sao Paulo, Brazil, where there are three other locations. They’ve asked us here at Fazenda to roast this coffee for their location, and after cupping the coffee, we couldn’t possibly be more excited to do it for them.

The Bob-O-Link is exceptionally smooth, with a creamy body and flavors reminiscent of fine chocolate. At a lighter roast profile, it has bright and vibrant characteristics that are the perfect counterpoint to its depth. The Bob-O-Link is advertised with a cupping score of 85 but I would score it slightly higher. Some other microlots from FAF were cupping as high as 88 and I fully concur after trying both the FAF 349 and FAF 322. Great coffee! And there won’t be any surprises on my end if this year’s harvest is even better, given the depth of care that goes into the use of agroecological farming methods at the Fazenda Ambienta Fortaleza.

An additional challenge for this coffee: I’m attempting to match the roast profile of Sofas’ Sao Paulo Roasters, but on different equipment and in a completely different climate. I have my work cut out for me. Surprised, though, to find that this profile is very similar to the one I use for our Colombia Full City roast at our café location, my standby morning cup of coffee. Time to get started! Look for Bob-O-Link exclusively at Sofa when it opens in a few weeks!