Brazil: Mario Roberto

Força Cafe Competition: 5th place, Natural Category

Toffee. White grape. Vanilla.

This is one of the very best lots to come out of Brazil this year. This is my third year working with the Força cafe competition. They put on an annual competition and auction to help exceptional farmers get a better price for their great coffee. This year, my importer held a Força Cafe cupping and this lot stood out, for me and for many other roasters who attended the cupping. It was better than most of the lots that got higher scores, in my opinion. I acted quickly and secured the remaining bags from this lot before the cupping was over. This coffee from the farm of Mario Roberto won 5th place in the natural-process category, out of hundreds of entries (his pulp-natural lot also won 6th place). What stuck out to me about this coffee is the sweetness; deep and lingering, with hints of toffee and vanilla. The rest of the coffee is subtle, yet very complex. A soft lemon acidity is backed up by hints of white grape, strawberry, pineapple, and grapefruit. I chose a relatively aggressive, fast roast profile to accentuate the coffee's subtle sweetness.

Region: Matas de Minas, Brazil
Variety: Red and Yellow Catuai
Elevation: 3600-4000 ft
Process: Natural
Cup characteristics: Toffee, lemon, grapefruit, pineapple, strawberry, vanilla, floral, grape
Roast: Light