This lot comes from Fazenda Cachoeira in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Miriam Monteiro de Aguiar’s family has been farming their land for five generations, and Miriam’s own oversight has led to further strides in sustainability and quality.
Finding quality certified organic coffee Brazil has always been exceedingly difficult for Speckled Ax. Brazil is the world’s largest coffee producer by a large margin, and its systems are set up for commodity quantity, rather than specialty quality. Couple this with low altitudes, and you have farming that is usually technified—not always a bad thing—and uses lots of chemical inputs for fertilization and pest control. My searches for organic coffee generally led to a handful of farms—despite the volume of coffee being produced, there aren’t many certified farms in Brazil—and choosing a lot that was the best of a mediocre cluster of offerings. In the land of the blind, as the saying goes, the one-eyed man is king.
Enter Miriam! I met her in Seattle (I think?) maybe four years ago, at the Specialty Coffee Association’s annual meeting. She was the real deal. A leader in women’s coffee, a leader (literally) of Brazil’s organic coffee association, and an expert producer and processor. She gave me an overview of her practices, showed me lots of pictures of her farm, sent me samples, and the rest is history. We now purchase as much of our organic Brazil as we can from her. It has been consistently excellent—and not just for Brazil! This year’s harvest certainly reflects its origin, producing a cup that is relatively low in acidity, with lots of chocolate and nut (think almonds, rather than peanuts), but also exhibits a little more brandied dark fruit in the cup than in years past. Her coffee is expensive—we pay twice as much as comparable quality conventionally-grown specialty Brazil goes for—but we are psyched to have found Cachoeira, and to have secured a good chunk of her production each year.
Producer: Miriam Monteiro de Aguiar
Location: Santo Antonio do Amparo, Minas Gerais
Elevation: 1100 MASL
Varietal: Acai, Catucai
Process: natural process, patio dried