Brazilian Sítio Maranhão
Brazilian Sítio Maranhão One Roast
I feel privileged to introduce you to this super sweet easy-drinking coffee, from the lovely Delgado family at Sitio Maranhão. In a year where Brazil has suffered environmental challenges, quite like no other. The compounding extra costs of labour and fertilizers have not been covered by market rises. These rises were a consequence of a smaller harvest partially due the hardest frosts in 20 years. To add to this, last week Jose lost his wife (Claiton’s mother). They are a family of strong faith and optimism.
In the depths of the pandemic, here when we were roasting about 5% of our normal amount Claiton was still calm, good-humoured, and predicted a good recovery. Unlike right now, there are still major lock-downs around Pinhal and across Sao Paulo state.
If you would like to see more about the farm you could check out their Instagram
I also wrote a little bit on our blog here.
Now my job. To introduce this complex and delicious single farm coffee to you, that I am completely involved and biased about!
Farm: Brazilian Sítio Maranhão
Farmer/family: Jose & Claiton Delgado,
Region: Caldas, Minas Gerais, South Minas
Process: Pulped Natural
Varietals: Red Catucai and Yellow Catucia
Roast: Light Filter. Not the lightest ever.
Altitude: 1100-1200 Meters above sea level.
|Aromatics: Chocolate, malty and a promise of Fruit| Body: Creamy (buttery)| Acidity: Sweet and curranty|
Depending on how you are brewing Maranhao, it can be a little like a Tanzanian coffee, with brown sugars and juicy red currants, cranberry a touch of stone fruit. Whatever does happen, it is seductively sweet, with a creamy body and a cocoa finish that just gets better and better. It is coffees like Maranhao that should stop us from thinking of everything coming out of Brazil is like chocolate and peanut butter. This season’s first cupping went like this…
When hot, this is intensely chocolatey with a promise of fruit. As the first wave of heat disperses there is a malty sweetness that emerges, as the body builds. The next big change (and is one of the reasons that we just love Maranhao) is that there is an elevation in fruity acidity. Acidity, like that of a dried mango, red currants, and a finish that is like a rich chocolate brownie. Right the way down to cool, this is all about sweet fruity acidity that is so easy to quaff.
60g of coffee per litre is a great place to start.
Espresso Recipe for this roast:
Depending on the milk you use and your cup sizes, you may wish to ignore the following! This is my go-to recipe for Brazilian Sítio Maranhão.
Base Brew temp: 93-94C
Milk-based drinks: 16-18g coffee in 34-36g (ish) in about 28+ seconds
Espresso: 16-18g of coffee 40-50g espresso liquid 30+ seconds
When brewing this super-fresh, you might want to make the shots a little shorter in liquid volume.
This should give you juicy, bright lovely espresso. Milk-based drinks, up to 9oz will be a little like drinking Maltesers, shorter drinks, like flatwhite, are more cocoa and fruity.
Sitio Maranhao is a small farm, not far from the entrance to Pocos de Caldas, in Minas Gerais. The move to specialty coffee has been over recent years and is painstaking work. The coffee harvest is only part of the years’ work. As soon as the harvest is complete there is a whole host of other things to attend to, but at least the workload reduces a little. Between Claiton and Jose, they are ingenious and very resourceful, making systems where they re-use motors for different parts of the coffee processing.
All of the pickings are selective, meaning that every bean that you buy has been picked by a member of the Delgado family when it is ripe. There can be 4 or 5 passes (pickings) across the harvest, none of the automated machine scale here. On top of this, I doubt a harvester could even make it up the steep, steep slopes.
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