Sitio Retz, Brazil
Warm butter, gingerbread, cane sugar
If you have a passing interest in coffee, you’re probably aware that Brazil produces a huge amount of world’s supply, and that lot of this coffee is a bit generic with a reliable but basic ‘chocolate and nuts’ flavour profile.
But not all Brazils are created equal — something that was made acutely obvious to me on my first trip there.
Outside of the mass-produced, conventional lots, there’s a growing number of small, quality-focused producers growing, harvesting, and processing coffees that are fresh, sweet, and rich with a sense of place.
This particular selection, Sitio Retz, comes to us from producer Helmar Retz whose farm is located in the Espirito Santo region. This area has typically been known for lower quality robusta production, but recently has made inroads into the higher quality echelons through producers’ commitments to selective picking and careful processing.
Helmar Retz, alongside his brother, Ederson, has taken over the family coffee farm from his father. After making the decision to re-direct the farm towards quality coffee production, Helmar has been working on infrastructure and process improvements to raise the quality and price of the coffee they grow.
On the cupping table, this coffee impressed with a great breadth of character; rich, warm, and softly-fruited, underpinned by a buttery, sweet body. We’re roasting it for filter brewing, so lean this way if you’re brewing on pour-over, plunger or AeroPress.