Daterra - Our Plot Project
MEET THE PRODUCER | Words like "organic" and "sustainable" have become big buzz words in the food industry and in popular culture, and specialty coffee is no exception. The problem is, they don't often coexist on the same farms. Those farms which have worked so hard to obtain an organic certification are often not growing coffee in a way that is holistically sustainable. The Our Plot Project is looking to change that, inviting coffee roasters to come alongside them in a collaborative effort to grow and process coffee in ways that are both sustainable and innovative (and, yes, also organic!).
Here's how it works: Daterra is a massive coffee operation in Brazil, and they've created a really cool concept called the Our Plot Project. Basically, a piece of land was selected for us after we cupped and chose one of the coffee varieties growing on their farm - in our case, Arara. This plot is ours to do with as we please, provided it meets three primary criteria: quality, sustainability, and scalability. Our friends at Coffee Collective in Denmark, who are also participating in the Our Plot Project, outlined these three criteria really well, so we'll let them jump in here:
Quality: First, we need high quality to make the product relevant and interesting for consumers.
Sustainability: Second, it has to be grown in a manner that improves the health of the earth.
Scalability: Finally, it only has real relevance if it can be scaled up to actually have an impact on a large scale.
TRUST THE PROCESS |
This year, we decided to explore the different yeasts added during fermentation and their unique effects on the resultant cup of coffee. After harvest, we broke our lot into three microlots, each of which underwent three (slightly) different fermentation journeys. Each of the microlots is an anaerobic natural, but they differ in the yeast that was added to them during that anaerobic fermentation period. The first underwent 60 hours of anaerobic fermentation with a yeast called bretanomyces bruxellensis, which is typically used in beer-making. The other two microlots each spent their fermentation time mingling with saccharomyces cerevisiae, with one of those being fermented in a style similar to white wine, while the other more closely resembled whiskey fermentation.
TAKE A SIP | After roasting, we found each of the three lots to be a really great example of Brazilian coffee, but we ultimately fell in love with the cup we experienced when we blended all three together. Brazilian coffees are known for their characteristic nuttiness, which can be delightful to some but off-putting for many. We feel that nutty character is maintained in this blend but made decidedly better by its pronounced sweetness, reminding us of things like almond croissants and Nutella. The yeasts used in fermentation contribute fruit notes and booziness to the cup, like red raspberry jam and Luxardo cherries. The whole experience is giving us real hotel breakfast vibes (in the best way possible!).
You don't see many Brazilian offerings on our menu, but this one is something special - not only for the way it tastes, but also for the project and purpose it represents.
Origin | Cerrado Region, Saõ José, Brazil
Producer | Luis N. Pascoal | Our Plot Project
Farm | Daterra
Process | Anaerobic Natural
Variety | Arara
Elevation | 1150 masl