Every Specialty Coffee Cafe’s Staple: The Boon that is Brazil
The backbone of our business is ensuring that a reliable inventory of good quality, single-origin coffee is always readily available for our customers.
They are our increasingly robust wholesale specialty coffee client base of F&B and hospitality concepts who have entrusted us with their requirements for roasted specialty coffee, the steadily flourishing niche of home and micro-roasters who count on us for higher-end specialty coffee green beans, and of course, our home baristas and home brewers who frequent our collection to replenish their brew bars in their ongoing journey of sensory enjoyment and exploration through specialty coffee, where the Brazil single-origin has typically been the springboard for discovery.
Mid-December, our warehouses welcomed 96 tons of everyone’s favorite single-origin cafe staple, Brazil. It was a feat met with much-deserved fanfare. Why? Because maintaining a massive supply of fast-moving, good-quality, fresh crop, single-origin coffee does not just happen.
At the minimum, it takes healthy synergy between the green coffee buyer and the specialty coffee producer. Such synergy, like the arrival of multiple, full container loads of our precious green beans, doesn’t just happen without mutual trust and understanding over time — as in our partnership with Brazilian specialty coffee leviathan, Luiz Paulo Pereira of the family legacy coffee company, Carmo Coffees, and the future-forward ‘New Brazil Coffee’ project, Santuario Sul.
Producer’s Talk with Brazil Coffee Leviathan: Luiz Paulo Pereira, Carmo Coffees & Santuario Sul
While every single day is patently an international coffee day for us here at Archers, we found ourselves in the good fortune of hosting Luiz Paulo for what had been the 11th iteration of our Producer’s Talk, and the capstone for 2023, on our global specialty coffee community’s recognized International Coffee Day, October 1, 2023.
It was our opportunity to find out how Carmo Coffees consistently manage to marry quality and quantity across their operations, ensuring us a measure of regularity in accessing massive volumes of Brazil’s top-quality coffees with repeatably familiar cup characters that are well-balanced and easy on the palate represented by some of our bestsellers across cafes and consumers.
Roastery favorites for espresso and milk-base in our Specialty Selection, Natural Fazenda IP and Sta. Ines are their handiwork. Our friends who've been following us since mid-2022 would also remember the crazy excitement that accompanied our first-ever release of distinctly fruit-toned Brazil lots for our pour-overs — Fazenda Santuario Sul, a washed Sudan Rume variety (now out of season!), and Santa Ines, a Natural Extended Fermentation Acaia variety (2023 crop now available here).
Enhancing our appreciation of Brazil as a specialty coffee origin past the aspects of production, our Frederick Bejo guided the conversation toward the rhythm of sourcing and dynamics of pricing, a keen understanding of which is key to having a steady supply of high-quality beans in large volumes.
Luiz Paulo then walked us through key pillars of Santuario Sul and how each contributes to achieving their goal. These are the cultivation of 30+ exotic varieties, harvesting by selective picking, innovating in the wet mill infrastructure and post-harvest processing (specifically in fermentation, with thoroughly researched and intentional use of yeast), and Carmo Coffees’ cutting-edge warehouse and dry mill, which had won the ArchDaily 2023 Building of the Year.
Southern Sanctuary: Birthplace of the New Brazil Coffees
Santuario Sul, or Southern Sanctuary, is the birthplace of Carmo Coffees’ New Brazil Coffees, where new describes both the non-traditional cultivation, harvesting, and post-harvest processing practices espoused by Luiz Paulo and the unprecedented flavor profiles these are aimed at creating.
The impetus for founding this new specialty coffee project was the desire not only to anticipate, but shape, market trends. Its implementation began with bringing a diversity of coffee varieties from the different producing countries, acclimatizing them to the Brazilian environment, and then conducting experiments in fermentation and drying to give rise to a new spectrum of Brazilian cup profiles.
Currently, there are 30 considerably exotic coffee varieties grown at Santuario Sul, including Geisha, Sudan Rume, Acaia, and the newest addition, the Starmaya, alongside the traditional Yellow Bourbon — whose chocolatey, nutty, and subtle fruit notes are familiar and well-loved among specialty coffee lovers because it is widely used for espresso and milk-based beverages across numerous cafes.
At his Talk, Luiz Paulo emphasized that, apart from successfully cultivating exotic varieties, the activities crucial to creating the New Brazil Coffee are selective handpicking and research-based innovations in processing.
Prompted by Frederick to elaborate, he went on to explain that, largely, coffee pickers in Brazil previously had not been able to appreciate the importance of picking cherries at a particular level of ripeness.
To address this, Santuario Sul took the initiative to update their know-how by providing visual references for cherry ripeness and also demonstrating the positive impact on improving their coffees’ profiles.
With regard to processing innovations, Luiz Paulo narrated that they had undertaken joint research with a wine-making company to identify specific microbes to aid fermentation by enabling the creation of particular profiles consistently on a large scale, even across seasons, should a customer require it.
As for drying, he expounded on their use of a blue-hued canopy in the Santuario Sul dry houses, which they observed further teased out finer nuanced flavors from the coffees.
International Coffee Day Cupping with our Close-Knit Crowd
Shortly after Luiz Paulo’s presentation wound down, our intimate International Coffee Day crowd finally got to taste a sizable sampling of the New Brazilian Coffees’ flavor spectrum, each a new addition to our and our friends’ sensory memories, and sparking our imagination of what else we can look forward to from Brazil.
The cupping table featured a host of rare and exotic varieties from Santuario Sul— Brazil-grown Geisha, Starmaya, and Sudan Rume — as well as the bestselling Acaia from Carmo Coffees’ Fazenda Santa Ines.
The breakthrough variety, Starmaya, Luiz Paulo brought for us was part of the first-ever of its crop harvested at Santuario Sul. In a brief chat before his Talk, he had shared that Starmaya — which has high yield potential, very good cup quality, and high resistance to coffee leaf rust — is additionally remarkable because it is the first of the coffee F1 hybrids that can be propagated by seed, where the implication is that the cost of propagation reduces.
Cupping rare, Brazil-grown Geisha, Starmaya, and Sudan Rume from Santuario Sul was a happily welcome reminder that, on the consuming side, we're privileged to enjoy the delicious results of the painstaking work and intelligent risk-taking our friends do on the producing side — and, beyond that, how our enjoyment of those cups influences the direction and lengths they could still go.
It was the first community event we’d staged on International Coffee Day, and we’re grateful for all our friends who came through for making it turn out as fun, meaningful, and memorable as it was — exactly as we wanted.
Written by: Nadine Onate | Photos by: Pauline Disuanco, Patricia Perello