intro

Fazenda Rainha (pronounced “hai-nya”) is an award-winning 280-hectare estate situated in Brazil’s Vale da Grama, an ancient volcanic valley that spans the borderlands between São Paulo State (still referred to as Mogiana in the coffee world) and the state of Minas Gerais. Fazenda Rainha is located just across the Mogiana side of the border. A repeat finalist in the country’s Cup of Excellence competition, Fazenda Rainha took home first prize in 2011.

200 hectares of the estate’s land is planted with the heirloom Yellow Bourbon variety. The region’s rolling hills make mechanical harvesting impossible – all the coffee from Fazenda Rainha is hand-picked. Wet milling, patio and mechanical drying, as well as machine sorting are all accomplished on-site by the farm’s full-time, year-round employees, all of whom also reside on the farm. In addition to housing, healthcare and education are provided to the workers and their families.

The farm is part of a small group of medium-sized estates in the Grama Valley region that utilize the export services of Bourbon Specialty. Their offices in nearby Poços de Caldas (pronounced “po-shows”) boast a state-of-the art cupping lab and ample warehousing space. The group have collaborated with local universities and luminaries, including Dr. Falvio Borém, who heads the famed agricultural center at University of Lavras, to perform research.

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This lot is 100% heirloom Yellow Bourbon. The variety traces its ancient history back to Reunion Island (formerly “Bourbon”) off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, where it was planted by French explorers in the early parts of the 18th century (resulting in the alternate name “French Mission”). Brought to mainland Africa before the turn of the 20th century, and thereafter to Brazil, its subvarieties have become exceedingly common across both Africa and the Americas. Brazilian Bourbon typically exhibits the yellow fruit recessive genome.

Using a processing method invented in Brazil and known locally as cereza descascado (de-husked cherry), the Pulped Natural style of coffee tends to result in a middle-ground between the flavor profiles of Fully Washed and Dry-Processed (or Natural). Using minimal water, the cherries are stripped of their skin and most of the fruit, and then taken straight to a patio to dry in the sun. After a few days, during which time the drying parchment coffee is turned frequently, the coffee is finished in mechanical dryers and then conditioned in wooden bins before exporting.

The result is a highly shelf-stable product with moderately high density and relatively low moisture numbers. The coffee is pretty large with a full 98% of the coffee measuring 16+, and more than half of the lot above screen 18.

Origin Information

Grower
Fazenda Rainha
Variety
Yellow Bourbon
Region
Vale da Grama, Mogiana, Brazil
Harvest
April – September
Altitude
960 meters
Soil
Clay minerals
Process
Pulped natural and dried in the sun and mechanical driers
Certifications

Background Details

This coffee is sourced from Fazenda Rainha, an estate located near the municipality of São Sebastião da Grama, within the state of São Paulo, Brazil.  The estate provides year-round employment with onsite housing, healthcare and a school. Over the years, the Rainha estate has frequently been selected as one of the top coffees in the Cup of the Excellence competition in Brazil.