Designation of Origin (D.O.)
Cerrado Mineiro is recognized around the world for producing high quality coffees. The region is located in the northwestern part of the Minas Gerais State, Brazil’s most prominent agricultural area. In 2005 Cerrado Mineiro became the first Protected Geographical Indication in Brazil, with full Designation of Origin coming in 2013.
A Designation of Origin (often abbreviated as “DO”) delineates a territory that is recognized for producing a product with unique attributes not found elsewhere. The DO of Cerrado Mineiro comprises 55 municipalities that produce coffee with distinct qualities resulting from the climate, soil, altitude, and “know how” of their people.
Most farms within Cerrado Mineiro are medium to large scale estates, which are lined with row after row of neatly spaced coffee plants. Producers take advantage of the gradual slopes of the region by using machines to quickly and efficiently harvest their coffee.
Though more efficient, mechanical harvesting is often frowned upon in the specialty coffee community. Many prefer coffee that is harvested by hand because it is easier to ensure that only ripe cherries are selected to move onto the next phase of processing. The machines that harvest coffee strip entire rows of fruit from the tree at one time, often containing a mixture of ripe and unripe cherries.
Producers in Cerrado Mineiro mitigate this issue by using a system of canals to sort coffee cherries after they are picked. Underripe cherries will float and be funneled off and discarded, while ripe cherries will sink to the bottom of these and be moved onto patios or drying beds for further processing.
Another prominent feature of Cerrado Mineiro is well structured seasons; hot, wet summers are followed by dry winters. The predictability and specificity of these climatory factors play important roles in coffees’ growth cycle and post-harvest processing. The humidity in the summer aids in the maturation and fruit development of coffee trees, while the mild and winters that follow are nearly ideal for harvesting and drying coffee.
This coffee is a naturally processed single-varietal lot of Mundo Novo, a natural cross between Red Bourbon and Typica. The variety was discovered in municipality of Mineiros do Tietê, São Paulo in 1943, and widely distributed to farmers throughout Brazil beginning in 1952.
Producers, particularly those in Cerrado Miniero, have gravitated towards Mundo Novo because of the variety’s potential for high yielding crops and its natural resistance to many common tree diseases. Additionally, Mundo Novo’s cherries ripen later than many other coffee varieties, extending the harvest season for produces, which provides them with additional time to collect and process their other coffee; a small luxury during the typically high-paced harvest season.
This lot exemplifies the expertise of well seasoned farmers using the best available technology to produce well-balanced coffees that display distinct characteristics specific to the region.
Pour over brewing will offer an exceptionally well-balanced cup with mild acidity and complementary sweetness. The initial bitterness of toasted almonds is tempered by mild tartness of fresh citrus fruit. As the cup cools, the familiar flavor of milk chocolate becomes more prominent, as does this coffee’s nougat-like sweetness.
AeroPress brewing will yield a slightly more full-bodied and sweeter cup, with a syrup-like mouthfeel. Once again expect rich notes of milk chocolate and toasted almonds to coat the palate; cooling to present the confectionary sweetness of nougat.