Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Daterra, Cerrado, Brasil 2011

As you have seen, the coffees from other farms and countries have been coming in to our roastery these last weeks. Here on the Daterra farm in Brazil the harvest has just started, or to be more exact, it started a month ago. And we will get our share of green beans from Daterra in November/ December.

We will talk a bit about the cyclus of this farm during
a year, but a also tell bit about some major development of equipment, and last but not least- what will the coffee of this year taste like ?

Klaus was here last year and he wrote
an excellent description of the coffee bean fr
om seed to green bean- ready to be shipped to the buyers around the world. I will take a slightly different approach and focus more on what is happening on the different stations of the farm each month of the year.

Actually I won´t. Carlinhos Borges will. He is quality manager, an outstanding cupper, roaster and follows the coffee around the farm. On the photo above he is watching the cherries together with Gabriel.
I asked Carlinhos to resume a year at Date
rra, month by month, in 5 minutes.

Here is the english summary:

Rainy. Preparation of ground- fertilization and correcting the acididity in the soil with calcium.

February and March
Removing weed, which can be very dense

Cleaning the ground around the plants to make it accessible for harvest machines.

Very important and intense. Preparing and adjusting all the equipment: for example harvest machines, wetmill and drymill.

June July August start of September
Harvest- all the cherries are picked and processed including those on the ground (which are of course a separate category).

The trees are stressed after harvest, lost many leaves and the flowering cyclus is starting.
Cleaning the paths and pruning.

Rainy season starts. Fertilization

November is the single most important month for shipping out coffee.
For many of the employees this is when they take holidays. Many parts of the farm goes into a slower pace.

Holidays for many.

NB- there are of course single things missing in Carlinhos desription, it is a general impression of a typical year rather than a exact agenda.

About equipment and the taste (hint: deep and sweet)

For all farms the most important resource are the peo
ple working there. But all farms also need the proper equipment. Daterra is actually going beyond that and putting all lot of research into developing equipment what never existed before. We have written before about the sortingsystem for example.

The wetmill at the Boa Vista is now replaced by a rath
er impressing piece. It is not only newly built- it has some features never seen before. Simply put does it pulp cherries into 7 different qualities or categories. A normal wetmill would handle 3 categories- green, red cherries and overmature. This one has more depulpers set after eachother including a more soft and flexible adjustment that handle the beans more carefully.
I wont go more detail how it does that, but in the end makes it possible to get a certain taste to your coffee.

To top off, Daterra is also constructing a huge wa
terrecycling plant.

And the taste is sweet this year. A very profound sweetness. This is not so much because of the new equipment, but the beans have been maturing very well. Going around the fields, there was almost only red cherries on every branch, and they were deep red. When we cupped the samples you could taste the siropy berries back to the trees.

Daterra was struck by a hailstorm earlier this fall and lost about 10 % of all the berries. Of course that was a disaster for the farm, especially since the orderbook is since long and roasters around the world are expecting to buy. The upside is that harvest is of very high quality, we just have to bear that we can´t get as much as we want.

So expect deep red sweetness from Daterra.

1 comment:

Natalia said...

Good to read more about the equipment they have at Daterra. I've recently been learning a lot about what they do on their farm; fascinating stuff. I'm especially looking forward to their new naturally low caffeine variety coming out. You might be interested in this interview (a British tea-drinker's perspective!): http://www.brazilianfoodguide.com/brazilian-daterra-coffee-through-the-eyes-of-the-foodish-boy/