We’re going ‘old school’ for our May Subscription and sharing via a traditional blog post. We’ve been having some work undertaken at the Roastery so we’ve lost the area which allows us to create video content. However, from next month we will have a nicer space to create future content.
With a coffee subscription of this nature it would be all to easy to get carried away with fancy and contemporary processing methods: extended fermentations, anaerobic naturals and the like are all very exciting and interesting, but they make up only a very small percentage of the coffee grown around the world. In fact, the specialty coffee industry as a whole only makes up around 20% of all coffee consumed.
So from time to time it’s good to pick a coffee which is just well grown, well processed and well roasted. It might not set the world on fire in terms of being different or ground breaking, but it makes for an enjoyable brew.
I think Serra do Boné falls into this category. It comes from Brazil, the biggest coffee producing country in the world, as is a really easy drinking coffee. It’s just great quality all round.
The farm employs 9 individuals year-round, all of whom are registered according to Brazilian labour laws. An additional 21 workers operate under a partnership system.
All coffee on the farm is picked manually – necessary, in part, because of the region’s hilly topography but also due to the family’s commitment to generating employment for local residents. The pickers also use derriçadeiras, or handheld mechanical harvesters, to maintain efficiency. After the beans are picked, they are floated to separate underweight and damaged beans.
Serra do Boné produces both pulped natural and natural lots. This lot, however, is pulped natural, and begins with a careful sorting of the cherries before they are pulped. Once the external fruit is removed, the coffee dries in the open sun on suspended terraces before being moved to a greenhouse on suspended beds to complete drying.
The Sanglard brothers are, of course, highly concerned with quality. To this end, the farm uses only certified and healthy nursery trees for renovation activities, all of which are genetically adapted and tested for the region. They oversee all aspects of planting to ensure that each seedling gets an optimal start in life.
Selective harvesting of ripe beans, the use of quality water to wash the beans, proper handling of drying procedures and sufficient resting time in pergamino are among the basic factors to maintain the quality and characteristics of coffees produced in Sitio Serra do Boné.
Serra do Boné uses an organic approach in its farming practices, which the brothers believe is positive not only for the land, but also for the health of the staff and the people who end up enjoying the coffee.
The farm is dedicated to producing specialty coffee and ensures attention in lot separation, washing, pulping, and drying on raised beds. The special care and attention paid to coffee production on this farm has led to numerous awards, including winning spots in Cup of Excellence competitions (1st place in 2003). Recently, Serra do Boné placed 2nd at Cup of Excellence in 2010.
In the Cup
In all honesty pinning down flavour descriptors for this coffee was really difficult. It caused a lot of discussion in the team, and a little disagreement. Given that this is a Brazilian coffee, there is definitely an underlying nut flavour in the cup. We brew our coffee quite light so we also detected a light floral tone with hints of golden syrup. It very much reminded us of those tinned steamed puddings we ate as kids!
From next month we are changing how we pick the coffee for our subscription. With so many more members of the team roasting the beans, it makes sense to involve them in the coffee selection process. Each month myself, Angharad and Shane will take it in turns to select a coffee for you to enjoy. Hopefully this will broaden the types of coffee we select plus you get to hear opinions from other members of the team!