Mundo Novo variety

Effects Of Coronavirus On Brazilian Coffee Farmers.

First of all, yes, the situation in Brazil is very serious. I wish to share the feedback I am getting from my relatives in Brazil both farmers and city folk alike. Brazil is made of 25 states and the capital district and each state reacted differently. Sao Paulo state where all our farms are located was the first state to have cases, went in lockdown and is trying to be under control.

The drop in Specialty Coffee shops and it’s demand.

I received from both my coffee growing aunt’s Fernanda and Rita a message that the coffee consumption worldwide went up by volume, during the early lockdown. However, the worldwide stockpile of roasted coffee in chains like Starbooks, Pret Organic, Costa and others was felt by larger coffee farms and cooperatives that have access to those markets. Gabriel son, my close friend told me in the begging of lockdown 2nd week of March, how Australia was being affected. (Gabriel son, from Bom Jesus farm has a direct trade relationship established in Ozzy land). The farms that had access to Nestle, Illy, Lavazza, Stockler/InterAmerica, large cooperativees – like Cocapec, Cooxupe, have successfully sold the residuals of 2019/20 harvest to them.

The Exchange rate and Coffee farmers

The clearest impact on the day to day life os farmers was the spike in the U$D to the Brazilian currency R$ (Reais) on the months of March to May. It allowed the coffee prices for commodity type coffee to sit at a decent price for the farmers. The Farmers that at the time closed future contracts – agreed with buyers to sell their coffee in the future closed great coffee businesses. However, in June as the New Harvest 2020/21 arriving and USA manifestations started the great fall performed by the U$D and dragging the overall commodity coffee prices down.

Forecasts, New harvest and staff during COVID-19

The need for speciality market and direct trade will be exposed on the coming months. The harvest carried on in Brazil and most staff managed to carry on their tasks with self-isolation measures. The quality of the coffee is being truly remarkable. Yet the traditional exodus of farm workers moving from region to region looking for jobs in farms that do not have a fixed staff was completely stopped. As the government is subsidising their wages, with a universal benefit. What used to take 3-4 months to finish harvest might be extended for 5 months of harvesting, going up to mid/end of August. What might mean an over supply of great quality coffee when the world is exiting lockdowns in September. To keep paying the farmers independently from the fluctuating and volatile coffee markets the need for transparency and traceability will be highlighted by the world post- covid-19.

cal cupping

Why some Coffee brands are synonymous of quality and others are not.

Why some Coffee brands are synonymous with quality and others are not.

Today I just had a coffee that was simply not right. But have you ever thought why some brands are seen as better than others? Illy > Nescafe, Lavazza > Kenco, Taylors > Aldi coffee.

Brands such as Illy, Lavazza, are a traditional offer as synonymous of quality of coffee in the European continent and compared to instant coffee. That in some cases add flavours in an attempt to improve flavours. Yet the quality benchmark established from Illy is being passed by current medium and large independent roasters such as Caravan, Squire Mile or Unio Hand Roast.

What some brands do that enable them to captive the public attention? Most important is their understanding over the complexity in coffee. From the seed to the raw coffee (green bean). The same coffee with same flavour and characteristics can be distributed and traded in different ways. Most Brazilian farmers have at least the first set of dry mills machinery (Beneficio in Brazilain Portuguese) that simply remove the husks and skins.

But with the full set of dry mills machinery at the origin warehouse we can separate the same batch of coffee in 7-9 different sizes that can be traded for different markets. In the Middle East most coffee sold to consumers are roasted and grind very fine so the smaller beans size 12&13 from Brazilian producers is sold to that market. Illy in Italy often buys 14&15 sizes as it is relatively consistent to roast, you can buy quality at accessible price and Illy than grinds for consumer or buys larger sizes to supply roasted cafes.

The 4th Wave orientated by Australians and New Zealanders seek the bigger beans and flavour and is the root Independent roasters in the UK are doing. Bigger beans are more appealing, more expensive and easier to roast as it is more consistent. But most Brazilian coffee is sold 16 up which is about 40% of the Brazilian crop, we bring 17& 18 sizes which is only 20 % of the crop produced by farmers.

We must see that the good thing in coffee is that all coffee can be used and there is little waste when each different bean is used to different things.

We only work with the best farms in Brazil, from award winning coffee to humble farmers who are new to the scene. We try and bring great coffee to the masses and put a little bit if extra income in the farmers pocket.

If you would like to some of our wholesale prices for our Brazilian speciality coffee, get in touch here.


What are coffee defects?

What are coffee defects? (And why the affect your cup of coffee!)

There are about 18 different categories of coffee defects; but  when I was working at Bom Jesus farm I catalogued about 11 of the most important:

1st. Parchment it is when the coffee bean is involved in a layer of outer skin just like in a parchment, the dry mill should have cleaned the bean, but a bean wasn’t processed correctly.

2nd. Sour bean a healthy bean has been fermented either on the tree or on the drying stage without intention. The sour bean taste like medicine. It should be removed by colour scanning machinery.

3rd. Black bean this bean was genetically badly formed. Unpleasant taste. It should be sieved by the colour scanning machinery.

4th. Pink bean the pink bean in Brazil is one of the less common defects. But yet is a badly fermented bean and its density makes it easier to be removed by machinery.

One of the farmers at Sao Lucas making sure to keep defects to a minimum.

5th. Pod, or Cherry this is a dry mill process failure for a pod to arrive in a coffee sack in the UK from Brazil it means the 5 machines that should have sorted out the bean failed in their tasks.

6th. Small husks, stones, residuals, in a 30 kg of the best speciality coffee cupping SCA score 85 is still accept some residuals, still very unlikely. As most dry mills stages target the removal of any impurity. But coffee is a natural product and variants can occur.

7th. Insect damaged beans it occurs by badly management farming practices. It should be sieved by the density machinery but disappear once is roasted but taste is unpleasant.

8th. Fungus damaged bean coffee bean that suffered from rainfall during the drying stage. It taste like rubber. It should be removed by colour scanning machinery.

9th. Unripe bean is a bean that been too early harvested and never got to the right maturation level. Size, density and colour sorting machinery are responsible to sieve them out. After roasted looks like a quacker but taste much worse. The palest bean

10th. Floater beans most common defect in natural coffee beans. It is the beans that density and genetics simply is variant than standards. After roasted turns into lighter brown colour than most. Its characteristics it floats in water even if at the right maturity level. It is difficult to remove through machinery; most are removed in the density selection stage.

11th.  Shell, or broken beans very common defects the shell are big beans that in the roastery after the first crack are likely to split. It does not affect much the flavour and is a varietal genetics problem. Sorting should remove most of these defects.

I have made a PDF which  details defects you can find in most coffees. Downlaod HERE.

As always, if you want to order great coffee with no defects please get in touch for our wholesale prices by filling in our contact form.


Why Does Coffee From Chains taste the same?

Why Does Coffee From Chains taste all the same?

Taste and palled are something very personal. But there are simple yes and no answers to whether clean and fresh water is better than dirty water. Coffee is the same; The more the coffee defects the worse the cup of coffee. Here we will address some simple why questions:

Firstly, coffee chains have an established industry to hit always the same consistency coffee (In the case of your large chains taste is not the focus). They achieve that sourcing the same green coffee with same standards (Brazilian Santos type ¾ or 3/2). This means that the amount of coffee beans defects and blend roast are always the same. A defect is like a rotten tomato, is just not right.

Why independent cafes coffee tastes better than chain cafes?

Secondly, independent cafes have control in what they can serve to their customers. If the café focus is delivering better coffee, they will obviously have less defects. And yet coffee as a natural product will have different defects and some make a cup taste much worse than other defects.

Why can a bag of coffee cost from £4 to £9?

Thirdly, the reason behind the price difference is down to two key facts – coffee flavour and the amount of coffee defects in the cup. If a bean stands out because is broken, looks like shall or is pale or insect eaten it surely will be because the GREEN coffee wasn’t sorted correctly. The less the defects and the most complex flavour the most expensive coffee.

What we aim is to make people aware of the difference’s coffee can have. Educate people on the impact and importance of coffee in the lives of communities. As we buy from the farmers, we guarantee the traceability and livelihood changes we can deliver when British drinkers try our direct traded coffee.


Brazilian Santos Coffee: Why Does It Matter?

Brazilian Santos Coffee: Why Does It Matter?


Did you know 40% of the worlds coffee supply is produced by Brazil? Over 80% of this coffee goes through the Santos port!

Since the 19th Century, Brazil Santos has been a blend of coffees from the region of Minas Gerais (60%) that adds acidity and consistency to the blend. This coffee is a mix of over 1000s of  different farms. Alto mogiana region  (25%)  brings body and sweetness to the blend but is also a blend of 100s of farms in that region. And about 10-15% of coffee comes from other regions in Brazil such as Norte Pioneiro Do parana and Espirito Santo. 

How does Brazilian Santos Give Brazilian Coffee a bad name?

Brazil Santos blend can have different types of quality and characteristics but always offers a poor example of Brazilian coffee as it doesn’t offer the whole trade stability the farmers deserve. But for centuries has been the base of many blends and is traded in the C market as the 2nd most traded commodity in the world. 

To deliver consistency in the same way Brazil Santos has been doing for centuries, direct trade offers better and more clear characteristics of flavours because the coffee comes from one single farm. Take for example our  Agua Santa green beans, they are grown and farmed by my Aunt and Uncle, there is not blend, just great coffee from on region in Sao Paulo.

Next time you go shopping, would you rather buy your things in one shop that has great prices and consistent quality, or will you visit 1000s of shops getting a blend of what you need at lower quality? If you would like direct trade coffee for you cafe or maybe you are a small one man outfit, please enquire about our wholesale coffee beans here.



Cal’s Coffee Origin And The British Connection

Cousin of Farmholder Fernanda, Helena Maciel married Keith Brough, from Penrith in the north of England, in 1990. They later had a son Calum Maciel Brough who came to study in his father’s homeland in 2013.

He instantly fell in love with England. However, something was missing. The excellence of a single origin coffee from Brazil. To overcome that absence, in September 2015, Calum along with friend and business partner Adrian Todd, from Orton, opened a company to represent the best of Brazil. The coffee of Terra Preta Farm.

The best of Brazilian green beans.

The concept of Cal’s Coffee was to bring lovers of speciality coffee a unique opportunity to make a connection between producer, roaster and customer.

The exclusive 30kg green bean packaging used by the Bom Jesus, Sao Lucas, Agua Santa and Terra Preta Farm is different to the traditional jute bags insofar as they don’t leave residues on the coffee and as such are more hygienic as well as facilitating handling. This way British roasteries are able to experiment the very best of Brazilian coffee.


Journey Of Our Coffee!

Our coffee at Terra Preta is grown, roasted and sold by the Maciel family who have been cultivating coffee in Brazil since the 19th century on a small independent estate. In 2015 Calum Maciel Brough brought coffee to UK buyers directly from his aunt’s farm for the first time.

At Terra Preta the beans are planted in December (which is summer down in Brazil). By January the plants begin to flower, which turn to green berries by March. After this the berries develop their colours which can be red or yellow, depending on the variety of the bean.

The beans are picked in May/June and are washed to remove dirt unlike others who wash to remove the shells which affects the fermentation of the beans, a vital part of making speciality coffee. Then they are left in the sun for 15-30 days depending on the weather and until they reach a humidity level of 11%. At this point, they are put in big silos for 20-40 days where they undergo controlled fermentation. This part of the journey is very important as it plays a great role in the individual characteristics and flavours of the harvest. Each producer of coffee uses his/her own unique recipe.

The coffee is brought to the UK by Calum, the nephew of Fernanda the farm owner. Calum returned to his father’s homeland to complete his education and saw there was a growing demand for speciality coffee from independent farmers. The coffee from his aunt’s farm would meet that demand. Since first bringing the coffee in 2015 the popularity of Terra Preta has grown among roasters and drinkers alike. We are looking for more roasters to collaborate with us to bring the taste, aroma and personality of our beloved Terra Preta to coffee lovers in the UK.