Carrying on from the reviews we did before the wonderful aeropress video time to get it back on track here with another update
Welcome to Fazenda Divino Espírito Santo
Farm Name: Brazil Fazenda Divino Espírito Santo
Producers Name:Michel Freitas
Altitude:Up to 1300 meters above sea level
Varieties Grown:Obatan, Catuai,Catucai, Acaua, Topazio, Bourbon, Java, Pacamara
Last visit: 1st visit
Report: Owned by Michel Freitas, the farm is located in the region of Piatã, which is in the state of Bahia. At an elevation of 1300 masl (meters above sea level), it has an annual production of around 300 bags but is risking to around 600 next year.
One of my regrets of the last trip to Brazil was not having enough time to go visit Michael’s farm. On that visit he drove three hours to come meet me, and to cup with me. It was clear to me that Michael knew how to cup and could taste coffee and that is always a good sign that the coffee is going to be good. One of the triumphs of last year this coffee was super popular and I was lucky to be able to visit on this trip.
Michael is seen by his peers as a pioneer for quality He seems to know instinctively how he can get the very best out of the land in Bahia. In 2004, Michel won a BSCA (Brazil Speciality Coffee Association) award after finishing 5th and 14th in competitions. He was a 1st place winner in the ABIC (Associacao Brasileira das Industrias de Café) contest in 2006 with a Pulped Natural, and 1st place winner in 2007 with with a Natural lot. He is keen to learn and experiment with the coffees he has, and I think this quality comes through in the cup. He has also ventured into roasting coffee in order to further his learning and develop his skills. Michel is also an accomplished cupper, which is a skill every great farmer should posses. He also placed 8th in the cup of excellence program in 2004
You can see why Michael does so well on this farm. Well organised he is so particular about everything and has a team of people who listen to his every command. He is also very influential in the area, a bit of a politician but also very keen to help advise and guide other coffee growers to improve their quality and raise prices for everyone not just himself.
One thing that comes from this is Michael does not lack confidence, even with my poor grasp of Portuguese I picked up enough to know he thinks he knows best. Even when we toured his newly installed roaster, he was full of confidence he knew what he was doing.
This can rub some people up the wrong way, and last year I wouldn’t have said we hit it off 100% but his coffee certainly did. And this year I think we did a lot more, I asked loads (and I mean loads) of coffee questions and he lots and lots of roasting questions and I think there was a meeting of minds trying to learn from each other. Also I felt some more trust this year, understandable really.
One thing that can not be doubted is his hospitality, so welcoming into his home, espresso which was good and food that was delightful.
Michael is the most competition minded of the farmers I meet, and we will see his coffee in a cup of excellence at some point again soon, particularly with the pl,ant stock he has. So many experiments going on with Obatan, Catuai,Catucai, Acaua, Topazio, Bourbon, Java, Pacamara
With it still being mid harvest I didn’t get to cup them all but the Natural Topazio was a triumph and a special lot (lot 15) he had put together for us was even better than last years coffee. We will see more when its ready from here with samples being sent.
A rocking farm with a great past and a great future ahead of it, this place is getting better and better on the cupping table.