|Roaster Location:||San Francisco, California|
|Coffee Origin:||Carmo de Minas growing region, Minas Gerais State, Brazil|
|Review Date:||May 2008|
Blind Assessment: Ken (91) was struck by the pungently sweet berry or black currant notes, which carry straight through from aroma through cup to finish. Co-cupper Ted Stachura (also 91) was a bit more general in his characterization, finding "sweet, winy tones and fruit" in the aroma and "bright acidity with floral qualities and sweet tangerine, cherry blossom and chocolate" in the cup. For both Ken and Ted the finish was slightly heavy but nevertheless pleasantly rich and flavor-saturated.
Notes: Processed by the pulped natural method, meaning the skin is removed from the coffee fruit immediately after picking, but the seeds or beans are dried with the sweet pulp, or fruit flesh, still adhering to them. From trees of the Yellow Bourbon variety. Bourbon is a prestigious, heirloom variety of Coffea Arabica; this particular strain has a yellow skin. The Bourbon character, a sort of sweetly dry berry note often described as black currant, is quite prominent in this coffee. From the Carmo de Minas growing region, an area relatively high in altitude and cool in climate, which may account for this coffee's bright, complex acidity. Fazenda do Serrado is Brazilian farm celebrated for having placed in the Brazil Cup of Excellence green coffee competition three separate years. Managed by sisters Maria Rogeria and Maria Valeria Costa Pereira. Ritual is a relatively new, frequently noted (NY Times, etc.), obsessively quality-oriented coffeehouse and roastery with two locations in San Francisco and a third opening soon in the Napa wine country. Visit www.ritualroasters.com or call 415-641-1024 for more information.
Who Should Drink It : Aficionados may find an intriguing hint of Kenya in this bourbon-derived Brazil, rounded and enriched by dried-in-the-fruit processing. Others may simply enjoy a richly balanced, crisply fruit-toned cup.
This review originally appeared in the May, 2008 tasting report: "S" as in Sexy: New Specialty Offerings from Brazil