Brazilian Maria Branca Estate
Brazilian Maria Branca Estate One Roast, Natural
This season we have only been able to bring or should we say smuggle in (?) 4 bags of Maria Branca Estate. Jose and Jaqueline have pruned their coffee bushes back hard to encourage more vigorous growth in the coming seasons. This is good for longevity and plant health, but not great for the bank balance when you have a total crop of 240Kgs. Jose and Jacqueline work with our mutual friend Cassio Franco Moriera, who is also a passionate organic advocate and our supplier too. He has consulted with José and Jacqueline since the beginning of the journey, turning Maria Branca into an organic coffee farm. The results have been outstanding. Although we cannot certificate these few bags as Organic, this year, I am just so happy it is here.
Farm: Maria Branca
Owners: José and Jacqueline Lopes de Faria
Region: Esperito de Santo de Pinhal
Farm size 35 Hectares/ 15 Hectares planted with coffee.
Varietals: Catucaí amarelo (main), Icatu and Mundo Novo
Certification: Conventional this season.
Roast: Cool dropped and developed filter, completely extractable as espresso, but an outstanding filter.
|Aromatics: Intense sweetness and currants| Body: Silky| Acidity Low, red fruity acidity with soft white fruit sugars|
On opening, in a cupping bowl, this is intensely sweet. Dark chocolate is the canvas, if not constant in the cup. Deep red fruity acidity with white sugars and a profuse lingering finish. On cooling, this is deliciously sweet and easy to drink.
In filter, we are brewing this at 60-65g per litre.
Espresso: 17g of coffee to 45/50g of espresso over 35-40 seconds.
Bright, soft red-fruity acidity, with a rich chocolatey, cocoa finish.
Flat white: 18g of coffee into 34-36g in 28-35 seconds I up-dosed the milk-based drinks because I just wanted more “oomph!” This recipe really gave us rich chocolate and big lactic sugars. Our base flat-white recipe is with 100g of whole milk.
Cappuccino: 18g of coffee into 34-36g in 28-35 seconds. 150g of milk. I am undecided if this is a good thing or not. If it’s not, you won’t see it 😀! Toffee, nut chocolate popcorn.
Maria Branca is a labour of love in more than the usual way. Owned and run by a highly accomplished medical couple (we are talking a professor (Jose) and his wife (Jacqueline) is a famous optometrist) who both thought it would be interesting to have a coffee farm. When we visited in the summer of 2019, I don’t think I have ever seen a farm run like it. Jose is very accepting of what nature does and replants and regrows things in a different way that can work. I don’t mean this in a negative way at all, but when you want to run a farm and you will still get by if the farm doesn’t make a (big) profit there is a different outlook from many of our other producers, whos everything is solely dependent on coffee income. Organic is at the heart of what they do and believes in.
On the farm a number of other organic crops are grown, everything is organic. The bananas were some of the best I have ever tasted, and that’s before we talk about the coffee.
We had such a great evening when we visited and they made their coffee beautifully in pour-overs again and again. It was so good and a truly idyllic place. I need to make space in my 2023 calendar to re-visit.