Switch Espresso first joined The Snobby Collective in January 2020 for feature #14. To feature our sixth Colombian coffee in such a short time was something that required not just a great coffee, but a coffee with an outstanding story. That’s exactly what they provided and have done so again today, with yet another fairtrade organic offering, this time from Brazil.
As an Agronomist by trade, producer Flavio Mello has a strong focus on farm improvements at Roccaporena. Many of these capture both sustainability initiatives as well as improved quality and outputs. For the past two years the farm has been managed Glyphosate free which is not common in Brazil. While weed management can be more time consuming, and the farm may not look as “manicured”, there have been direct improvements such as better moisture retention in the soil from increased ground cover preventing evaporation. Even though safety equipment is also used on the farm while spraying, not using Glyphosate sprays further increases safety for the workers on the farm as well.
(Words by Switch Espresso) Although many producers focus on many different processing techniques, Roccaporena chooses to do only Natural Processed coffee, and they do an amazing job of it. This has sustainability advantages, such as less demand on water resources and water contamination. The benefits also mean that the farm can focus on one methodology, and become very good at it. Although it has the title of “Natural Process”, it holds many variation potentials within that. When to harvest, how to manage drying and controlling fermentation in that process and different resting techniques. This experience and focus allows large volumes of consistent coffee to be produced that highlight quality not just within one crop, but season to season, a trait valued by roasters looking to deliver consistent quality to their customers.
As an Agronomist Flavio is focused on the science that can see the farm produce both quality, volume and these be done with the best sustainable practices. To best see this the farm and its production are divided into many smaller “lots” mainly be geographical area and number of trees. Throughout the season all of these lots are individually managed with recordings taken around things like flower set, pest recordings, temperatures, soil nutrience, soil moisture levels, sugar development in fruit, yields, maturation periods and much more. This allows for quantifying of practices and optimised management of processes like fertiliser applications, irrigation, varietal selections and the best time to harvest coffee.
Altitude: 900-1300 M.A.S.L
Tasting Notes: Roasted hazlenut flavours with toffee and peanut
Grab yourself a bag here.