Falling within Brazil’s famous Cerrado that makes up nearly 23% of the entire country, Daterra are the world’s first grade A rainforest certified farm of any business, and a walk around the trees will reveal a stunning array of birds and wildlife, from toucans and burrowing owls to squirrel monkeys and maned wolves. Over 60% of the land they own is given over to nature reserves. The farm itself is split into many lots, each with a designated agronomist to care for the particular varietal and aspect each lot defines. With over 100 different varietals on their farms, development is tracked and planting paired with appropriate varietal.
Selective mechanical picking is common in Brazil and occurs typically with 40-60% ripe coffee on the tree, with 5% green, 10% underripe, and the rest tree dried. A sample will be picked, processed and roasted to check taste is as expected, before the order is given to pick the specific lot.
Sorting is done on a specially adapted wet mill, first with density sorting that removes overripes, then with the drier and natural beans being sorted very specifically by size from each lot. First stage ripe cherries are left to almost fully dry on a large concrete patio before being finished in a Guardiola to ensure consistency throughout the lot, whilst pulped raisins are cherries in the first stages of becoming tree dried, so slightly denser and with higher sweetness levels requiring mechanical depulping before being dried on a patio and finished in the Guardiolas. Pulped coffees are the ripe cherries that are diverted through the specially adapted silos that apply differing water pressures to the cherries at different stages, allowing the precise maturation levels of each cherry to be separated during the depulping.
By cupping all the variables, the tasting team are able to precisely pick the components that make up each blend, to ensure the consistency of flavour profile required. It is with this understanding and an experimental mind that the Masterpieces are created. Taking their new and experimental varietals that grow on their innovation plot, new processes are trialled and ideas of where to push the coffee next first come to fruition.
For this coffee, Dora, the ripest cherries from the Laurina trees are processed under a fully natural anaerobic fermentation inside a steel tank equipped with an airlock valve: this system allows oxygen to get out of the tank but stops anything from getting inside. As the cherries ferment, they release CO2 and, because carbon dioxide is denser than oxygen, it pushes the lighter gas out through the valve. After a few hours, the tank environment becomes completely anaerobic and allows certain microorganisms the perfect conditions for fermentation and enzymatic reactions to happen inside of the beans.