Our history with Cassio is special. Jacaranda has been around JGC since the early days. Cassio is a great friend and often we share what is going on in our different corners of the world. I send pictures of the snow outside and Cassio sends me a picture of his new Labra-sharpie dog on the farm before he goes off to a family barbeque in 30 something degrees. If you read this as a customer, I feel the words I write here are as much for you as for Cassio, as he will read them! I am still going to be completely honest however scrutinised I am.
Over the last few years, Cassio has been investing more resources in processing and drying on raised (PAPRBOLIC beds. Last year was decent, and we sold more Jacaranda than ever before as a single farm. Jacaranda also looked destined to do great things in competition. The 2020 crop was a good harvest if not the best yet and it has opened up so much since the pre-ship samples. It can hardly do any wrong!
Farm: Fazenda Jacaranda
Owners: Cassio Franco Moreira, agronomist, PhD, and his mother Telma Teixeira Franco
Region; Machado, south of Minas Gerais
Size 150 Hectares
Altitude: 1.100 – 1.250mts
Selectively picked, and dried on semi-parabolic or covered raised beds.
Varieties: Bourbon, Catuai, Mundo Novo, Icatu, Catucai
Scale: Anual production potential of around 400 bags of 60kg
Roast: Medium Filter
|Aromatics: Fruity |Body: Light | Acidity: Sweet and citric|
On opening, Fazenda Jacaranda is intensely sweet with white and brown fruit sugars and soft sweet acidity. The fruit is somewhere between black grapes and dates, followed by a sweet grapefruity finish. As the temperature cools a little, there is a sponge finger biscuit moment (think lactic acidity and bakery meets white sugars). On cooling the soft sweet fruits, just keep on sparkling in the cup with a sugar coating and long sweet citrus.
Unsurprisingly this is more citric, yet it becomes chocolaty and on the finish, there is a hoppy twist. Flat whites are where the best fruit lies in milk-based drinks and after the 6oz, the drinks are all very nice but more lactic sugars (think shortbread and caramel) than juicy fruit.
Brew methods: This is delicious in cafetiere, filter and a little more citric in espresso
Recipe: 60g-90g per liter for filter. 17g/35g in 28-34 seconds around 93-94C add an extra 10ml for straight espresso/ americanos.
The Franco family has produced coffee in these lands since 1860, originally at the Serra Negra Farm. Carlos Fernandes Franco inherited part of Serra Negra farm in 1969 and started the Jacarandá coffee farm. He died in 2003 and was always passionate about nature and a true ecologist (also engineer who made huge bridges in the Amazon). He was the pioneer in organic coffee production in Brazil and the farm is organic since 1992. His grandson Cassio Franco Moreira started agronomy college in 1995 already having a strong organic coffee influence.
Today the farm is divided between Carlos Franco´s widow, Francisca Franco, and her sons and daughters. All of the areas are still organically managed but some coffee plots have been abandoned due to family and farm restructuring. Today 2 daughters, 1 son, and grandson of Carlos run several parts of Jacarandá with around 30ha of organic coffee being managed and a plan to renew 15ha in the next 5 years. When we visited Jacaranda, the level of re-planting and reinvestment was staggering. Cassio is an optimist and a long-term thinker. Quietly, I also hope that Jacaranda does so well it wins Cup of Excellence one day, as a reward and recognition for the long-term dedication. Cassio wrote us a brilliant article on organic coffee farming in Brazil and climate change here if you are interested.