overview

Overview 

This is a traditional natural coffee from South Minas, Brazil, produced by Álvaro Antônio Pereira Coli on his estate Sítio da Torre.  

The flavor profile is punctuated by sweetness and underscored by elegant but full body and light fruitiness. We especially noted golden raisin, vanilla bean, dried fig, and maple syrup. 

Our roasters found the coffee preferred gentler heat treatment, cracked softly and a little late, and may need a little extra development time to brown. 

When brewed the coffee showed uncommon versatility with excellent performance as a conical pour-over and, of course, as a single origin espresso. 

taste

Taste Analysis by Sandra Loofbourow 

This yellow Bourbon is a phenomenal example of Brazil’s quality potential, and likely the only Crown Jewel from this origin we’ll be featuring this year. While it’s rife with the caramelized sugars typical of this region, the notes are all more refined: think sweet walnut, maple syrup, and cinnamon. The sweetness is intense and ranges from golden raisin to creamy ripe banana. In fact, the coffee is so sweet and has such a pleasant mouthfeel that the suggestion of vanilla bean soft serve is almost inescapable. Still, it’s a surprisingly elegant coffee with details like fig, sweet sesame, and amaretto. Like most Brazil’s, it’s sure to sing on espresso but I thoroughly enjoyed it as a pour-over, and our baristas found that it held up exceptionally well in more aggressive, full immersion extractions too.  

source

Source Analysis by Chris Kornman 

Álvaro Antônio Pereira Coli, the great-grandson of the Italian immigrant who founded the family farm called Sítio da Torre, has reproduced (in this author’s opinion) a definitive Sul de Minas Natural Yellow Bourbon for a second year in a row and we couldn’t be more pleased to include it on our Crown Jewel menu for an encore performance.  

It’s not hard to see why the coffee continues its run of excellence, as Pereira explains, “we continue to produce natural coffee (dry method), always focusing on the quality of our coffees, as we are certain that when coffee is well cared for from the fields to post-harvest, it will always be ‘special.’” He goes on to mention that “We produce quality coffee, however never forgetting to preserve the environment, as we are certain that the man-environment integration provides us with sustainable coffee production.”  

Pereira’s 65-hectare Sítio da Torre is located in the municipality of Carmo de Minas in the Serra da Mantiqueira mountain range. The peaks span from São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro, and the slopes that fall within the borders of the vast bread-basket state of Minas Gerais are known under an “Indication of Origin” as the “Mantiqueira de Minas.” The region is the epicenter of some of Brazil’s most exceptional coffees and award-winning coffee farms.  

The word Mantiqueira is derived from a Tupi phrase meaning “crying mountains.” The range is rife with natural springs, including Carmo’s neighboring city of São Lourenço, where the water bursts forth from the earth, mineral-rich and effervescent. The abundance of fresh water in the region is uncommon in many Brazilian production zones, and combined with distinctive elevations, terrain unsuitable for mechanical harvesting, and smaller-than-average estates, the perfect ingredients exist in Mantiqueira de Minas for exceptional coffees.  

Surviving on little more than pão de queijo and Guaraná Antarctica, I made one of my very first visits to purchase coffee in Carmo de Minas over a decade ago. It’s an ideal location to shed the preconceptions often repeated about Brazilian coffees – that they lack quality and consistency, that they’re mass-produced, that they’re not specialty. The farmers here will quickly convince you otherwise over a cup brewed by hand, paired with guava jelly and farm cheese, or – if you’re lucky – piping hot fried cornbread broas still dripping with butter.  

Of course, the farmer’s work is not the only contributing factor to quality. Brazilian dry mills’ reputation for precision is well-earned by the country’s impressive mechanization techniques and industry-leading equipment manufacturers. The efficiency of production in these facilities is a marvel to behold – from microlot to macrolot outturns, hulling, sorting, defect removal, and screen size separation are a matter of strict science. Sítio da Torre’s coffees are processed at Cocarive (Cooperativa Regional dos Cafeicultores do Vale do Rio Verde – that’s right, a Brazilian cooperative) conveniently located in town in Carmo. The advantage of nearby milling is a critical contributing factor to quality preservation, and Cocarive’s 6-decade history of sustainable farmer support provides unmatched stability for its contributing associates, which number close to 1,000.  

 

Natural coffees – those which are picked and dried unprocessed in the whole fruit before milling – have long been the preferred method in Brazil, but only recently have they caught the attention of quality-conscious roasters. Yellow Bourbon is among the nation’s most important coffee quality hallmarks. The trees have been featured in academic publications offering evidence that they produce higher sensory quality (particularly at the higher elevations of the Mantiqueira mountain range) compared to corollary red fruit trees. Unlikely to be strictly speaking a direct descendent of Reunion Island’s unique arabica variety, the cultivar we call Yellow Bourbon is most likely a hybrid of a spontaneous yellow mutation of Typica called Botucatu crossed with a standard red fruit Bourbon. Regardless, it is an important and coveted Brazilian contribution, and one that makes this specific lot even more iconic as a benchmark against which I’m sure we’ll be measuring many coffees for seasons to come.  

 

green

Green Analysis by Chris Kornman 

Expertly sorted and graded green coffee is no happy accident, but in truth the result of many attentive individuals, precise methods, and specialized pieces of equipment. In this case, through the combined efforts of those working the fields and patios at Sítio da Torre as well as those at Cocarive’s dry mill, we have an exceptional example of perfectly prepped green. 

With over 70% of the beans sized at 17 and 18 screens, this coffee should respond in a pretty homogenous way to most roasting styles. Its low moisture and water activity nod at expert drying practices and a lengthy potential green shelf life under good storage conditions. Brazilian coffee generally speaking shows up at lower density than much other specialty coffee, perhaps due to lower elevations. Keep an eye on this bean during roasting and don’t be too assertive with your burners. 

diedrich ir-5

Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Chris Kornman 

I spent probably half of my Chicago roasting career browning Brazilian beans, and I’m fond of retelling the story that on my first buying trip – to Brazil in 2012 – I was enlisted to approve close to a million pounds of the stuff. While specialty roasters have long had a mixed opinion of the source (often pigeonholing the world’s largest coffee producing country as a monolithically homogenized source of cheap blenders), the truth is that there is a lot of really nice coffee in the country. 

Sourcing aside, roasting the coffee takes a unique approach to get great results. Unlike when roasting Kenyas (for example) which crave heat to highlight their acidity, or natural Ethiopias which are best met with balanced Maillard and post-crack development to enhance their fruit-forward character, the clean, soft green profiles of southern Minas require gentle heat intervention. 

To accomplish this, there are several strategies you can employ, but they should all lead you down a path that enhances sugar browning sweetness, viscosity, and minimizes scorching possibilities. You probably can guess at the plan: charge low, use burner power sparingly, extend Maillard with low ROR development all the way through first crack, and – when possible – reduce your airflow. 

The roast here showcases all of these characteristics, with a sub-400F charge (low for us, these days) and a delayed and incremental heat increase between turning point and color change, aided by closing the airflow fully until Maillard reactions are visible at yellowing. Airflow opened briefly to 50% and then 100% during browning, with gas fully idled 2+ minutes prior to crack. First crack was very quiet, and rolled in slowly, and I backed my airflow to 50% after a minute or so to try and stabilize my rate of rise around 5 degrees per minute, dropping the batch at almost 2 minutes after crack began. It’s a longer development time than I usually try for; the idea was to try and produce an omni-roast (espresso and pour-over ready) with a bit of sugar browning and to try and edge the coffee as far past any grassiness as I could without risking charred flavors. At 56.5 ground reading on the Colortrack, it was a little darker (unsurprisingly, based on PCD length) than our usual profile… but not drastically. 

Roasting assistant Doris Garrido and marketing coordinator Bolor Erdenebat joined me to cup and we captured a lot of flavor notes. Doris recalled a super-sweet coconut candy she’d been introduced to by her Belizean-Mexican extended family, and picked up a little bit of orange and caramel. Bolor keyed in on some comforting hot-cocoa flavors joined by a unique array of ghost-pepper and cucumber notes. I thought about fudge and fig, pipe tobacco and raisin, and maybe a hint of rose water. The coffee has sweetness for days and a lush depth when given the opportunity to shine. 

Overall, this is a gentle, subtle coffee in the cup, aided by a gentle, subtle approach to roasting. 

 

aillio bullet R1

Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman 

Unless otherwise noted, we use both the roast.world site and Artisan software to document our roasts on the Bullet. You can find our roast documentation below, by searching on roast.world, or by clicking on the Artisan links below.  

Generally, we have good results starting our 500g roasts with 428F preheating, P6 power, F2 fan, and d6 drum speed. Take a look at our roast profiles below, as they are constantly changing! 

This is the first Brazilian coffee I have roasted in more than a year, and I went in knowing that I was dealing with a different beast than all the Ethiopia, Colombia, and Kenya coffees that we’ve seen over the past months. This wasn’t completely unfamiliar territory, as we’ve carried coffee from this very supplier many times for the Crown Jewel program, but it was the very first Brazil I roasted on the Bullet.  

As Chris mentions above, a good approach for a coffee like this is to go in with a little less heat, and that’s how I started off my roast. Instead of the usual 428F charge temperature, I decided to take it down a notch to 410F. I have also been starting off some of my roasts at P8 lately, and worked with P7 to start for this more gentle approach. A little after turning point, I increased the heat to P8, and fan speed to F2. At 4:00 / 310F, I reduced heat to P6 as my rate of rise was sticking on the high end. Then, I increased fan speed to F3 much earlier than usual at about 4:45 / 320F, and to F4 as I anticipated first crack at 8:00 / 375F. Crack happened quite late and fairly soft at 9:40 / 393F, with my adjustment down to P5 having very little influence over the RoR late in roast. The only thing that allowed me to reduce the RoR was increasing the fan speed to F5 at first crack – this crashed my RoR pretty hard.  

In the end, I was able to achieve a ratio of 43% / 44% / 11%. The cup was incredibly sweet and balanced, but did seem underdeveloped on the finish despite my 12% roast loss. I do think I would have been able to get an even mellower cup if I had cut heat even earlier in the roast cycle. The giant palm sugar, vanilla, and fruit leather notes here really held my attention, however. Perhaps a touch of pineapple syrup in the background? Next time I’ll hold back a little on the heat application and let this roast develop a bit more, but this was a satisfying cup. Keep in mind that this coffee does not need to be pushed at all – it wants to roast all by itself! 

You can find my profile for this coffee here, on roast.world: https://roast.world/@egilman/roasts/7oup5Cp29Wu2-qfdrEG5y 

Ikawa Pro V3

Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Chris Kornman 

Standard practice these days for Ikawa roasting is to put our Crown Jewels through a gamut of 4 reliable profiles at what we’d consider to be “drinkable” sample roast levels. The profiles have been developed and refined over time to showcase the best of various green metrics and processing styles to give us a window into their performance on our production roasters. 

No real surprises here, this Brazil clearly prefers the gentler roasting approaches of our slightly longer, slightly lower temperature profiles. While the Maillard +30 profile was the nicest of the faster roasts with good sweetness and body as it cooled, it still had a little lingering nuttiness. 

It was the low-airflow profile, developed specifically for lower density coffees like this, that made a clear statement on the cupping table. With a long drying time, overall lower temperatures and slower development, the coffee achieved a decadent chocolaty backdrop with well-defined fruit notes like ripe table grape and pink lady apple. We felt its complexity and depth were unrivalled compared to the other roasts, and strongly encourage you to take your time with this coffee in the roaster and let it develop at its own, slightly slower pace.  

You can roast your own by linking to our profiles in the Ikawa Pro app here:  

Roast 1: Crown Maillard +30 SR 1.0
Roast 2: Crown 7m SRLowAF2 

brew

Brew Analysis recipes by Kaleb Ede, words by Colin Cahill 

So much about this coffee—the origin, the cultivar, and the processing method—excites us here at The Crown, and since getting our hands on it, we’ve played with it in a bunch of our different brewers as well as on our espresso bar. It is the first Brazilian coffee to enter our brew analysis work for most of us on our team, and based on our experiences with it, we are hopeful that we will get to work with more and more lots from such a massive and diverse origin. The coffee brewed up consistently, yielding sweet and well-balanced brews on different devices and brew methods. It performed beautifully on cone, flat-bed, and immersion brewers, as well as on our La Marzocco espresso machine. For this analysis, I want to focus on our V60 brew and on the espresso to highlight both the coffee’s versatility and its dominant tasting notes. 

Kaleb, our lead barista, and I played around with it for a while on an AeroPress, examining the contours of the coffee with an immersion method. It yielded a pleasing, smooth malty body and mellow acidity with consistent sweetness. Over and over, we tasted notes of plum, fig, sweet almond, and sesame. To dial down the fatty nuttiness of the coffee and explore the contours of its acidity, we brewed it up on a Hario V60. After a tasty brew with our standard recipe, Kaleb decided to play with the doses of coffee and water, bringing the ratio down to 1:15, coffee-to-water. He added an additional pulse of water into the brew recipe, starting with a bloom dose of 50 grams of water, letting the coffee grounds bloom for 40 seconds, adding 70 grams of water at the 40 second mark, 100 grams at 1:10, and the final pulse of 100 grams at 1:40, allowing it to finish draining with a brew time of 3:50. This brew had a lighter body, but still had a creamy mouthfeel, and it had a much bolder note of plum and stone fruit. A floral note of vanilla stood out in this brew, as well as chocolate. While our brews on the Fellow Stagg had similar degree of chocolate-y notes, the acidity was much softer, pronounced gently in sweet notes of raisin. The brew on the V60 had the most dynamic acidity, but none of our brews were bright.  

Kaleb played around with this coffee on our espresso bar, and he and Nate found it to be delicious. It had a buttery mouthfeel and significant sweetness. They tasted brown butter and praline, fresh cherry and blackberry, and notes of caramel, apple, and raisin. While it performs beautifully on a pour over bar, and we have started serving it as a pour over in our tasting room, it is a crowd-pleaser as an espresso, and we are lobbying to feature it on our espresso bar as well. This coffee is perfect as an approachable introduction to the natural process, with softer acidity and lots of classic buttery, chocolate notes, with excellent versatility for service. 

 

Origin Information

Grower
Álvaro Antônio Pereira Coli | Fazenda Sitio da Torre
Variety
Yellow bourbon
Region
Mantiqueira Region, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Harvest
May - September
Altitude
1100 - 1300 masl
Soil
Clay minerals
Process
Full natural and dried in the sun
Certifications
Fair Trade

Background Details

From the volumes of coffee flowing out of Minas Gerais (the largest of the three major Brazilian growing regions), we have plucked a special treat traceable to a single estate located in the protected origin of Mantiqueira de Minas region known for its rolling hills and uneven terrain. The 235 acre estate called Sitio da Torre has been owned and managed by Álvaro Antônio Pereira Coli for the last 24 years. This is the same land that his great-grandfather purchased in the late 1800s after emigrating from Italy. Álvaro has built an impressive reputation for quality consistently recognized in the Brazil Cup of the Excellence competitions over the last decade. During the harvest coffee cherries are floated to remove less dense and damaged coffee, and then depulped and placed on patios to dry with the mucilage still attached.  After 5 days, the coffee is moved to mechanical driers to precisely finish the drying to 11 percent moisture and then carefully stored until it is time for milling and export.