Fazenda Santa Helena sits 1200m in the mountainous region of Carmo de Minas in Brasil. It is from the same state as the previous Brasil, Fazenda Recreio. So it is not too dissimilar. The farm has been growing coffees for decades and since 1999 has been under the watchful eye of the Cameiro family.
Since the farm was acquired, Jacques Cameiro has focused on the production of specialty coffees. Special care is taken, starting with the planting of the seedlings. Areas facing south or southwest are avoided because the cherries ripen more slowly and conditions are more propitious for the development of diseases.
Harvesting, which takes place between May and October, is done 100% by hand and involves in three selective passes. Immediately afterwards the coffee is taken to a wet processing mill on the site. The natural coffee and the pulped cherries are pre-dried on a 7,000 square-meter patio and dried in mechanical dryers. All coffee lots are traceable and undergo rigorous quality control in order to achieve exceptional specialty coffees. The variety of coffee is yellow bourbon and undergoes a pulp-natural process.
TASTING NOTES> Smooth. Medium to full body, Chocolate with a caramel sweetness. Ripe tropical fruit notes throughout.
Finca La Perla is located in the in province of El Quiche within the Ixil Triangle, 24 miles north-east of Chajul. The entire village of La Perla (‘The Sleeping Woman’ in Xamac, Mayan language) is predominantly devoted coffee production. However a small percentage is also used for cardamom and macadamia nuts which are grown side by side. La Perla is large and offers a wide variety of microclimates and soil types resulting in different coffee characteristic. But the weather is predominately hot and steamy! The village grows Caturra, Catuai and Bourbon varieties ranging from 900m up to 2000m. Soil is loose, clayey and sandy over a limestone base.
990 hectares are dedicated to the preservation of the environment through forest reserves of native trees and plants. These are also the source of several natural springs, which are used to irrigate the land.
Apart from coffee, the region is also famous for its people. A solidarity association was formed during the civil war. This has had a big impact on standards of living within the farming community and allowed them to continue production during the recent armed conflict. La Perla provided work, reconstructed entire villages, and promoted health campaigns.
TASTING NOTES> Elegant and soft. Light and delicate mouth feel. A medium bodied coffee with orange and pruney notes. It has a bright acidity ending and a clean finish.
Gulmarg Estate is located 1600m above sea level in the central province of Kiambu District, Kenya. The plantation has been producing speciality coffee since the early 20th century. The estate is large, 400 acres with 550 people working during harvest time. The variety of coffee is SL-28 which is commonly grown in kenya because it is well suited to the soil types.
TASTING NOTES> A hugely aromatic coffee. Clean, bright and fruity. Lots of berry notes especially blackcurrents and blueberries. It has a medium rounded body. It favours being brewed at a low ratio to water. A good coffee for spring.