I recently headed up to visit family in Holland, Michigan. One of the perks of having family in that area of the world is that there’s no shortage of great coffee and beer. Within the past year the coffee scene in that town expanded just a little bit more with the addition of a new Ferris Coffee location, so I try to make it a point to pop in whenever I’m in town. This visit was no different, and I bought a bag to take home with me.
Welcome to the table. Today we’re cupping the Brazil Primavera, from Ferris Coffee and Nut in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Feel free to pull up a chair.
Following his father’s footsteps, producer Ricardo Tavares has dedicated his life to the coffee industry. Ricardo’s father began in the roasted coffee industry, delivering products to meet the demands of Brazil’s domestic coffee consumption. Ricardo began his own story in the world of coffee business at age 19, when he accompanied his father on a trip to northern Brazil. After returning from the rolling hills of coffee trees, Ricardo decided not to continue his career as an economist and, instead, dedicated himself entirely to the purchase and sale of coffee beans in the interior of Minas Gerais.
Years after beginning work in coffee, he acquired Fazenda Primavera. The 980 hectares planted with coffee are not just a farm but a property he and his team have built into a regional exemplar of the possibility of specialty coffee production in Brazil, transforming it from its origins in traditional coffee production by Portuguese families who arrived in the late 70’s, when coffee production in the region began.
Fazenda Primavera is located in the municipality of Angelândia, Minas Gerais, a region at the transition between biomes, with land and vegetation characteristic of both the Atlantic forest and the Cerrado. The farm’s elevations, between 1000 to 1050 meters above sea level, promote the cultivation of specialty coffee and the climate also provides favorable conditions with average temperatures between 20 and 24 °C annually and precipitation of 1,000 to 1,300 mm.
Fazenda Primavera has state of the art installations including a 24,000 m² drying patio, 14 electric dryers, and equipment for processing Natural, Pulped Natural, Honey, and fully Washed coffees. The farm cultivates predominately Red and Yellow Catuai and has been adding new varieties, from Topazio to Geisha. Pulped Natural Geisha from Primavera won first place at the 2018 Cup of Excellence!
Social and environmental sustainability have always been integral to the farm’s operations and it is of great importance to Ricardo that production techniques minimize environmental damage. A power plant on the farm recycles water used in depulping to produce energy and the coffee pulp is composted for use as natural fertilizer. Primavera’s team conducts outreach to neighboring farmers to share knowledge and best practices to help move the region of Angelândia and Chapada de Minas forward, particularly through Instituto Café Solidario.*
region: Angelândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil
farm: Fazenda Primavera
producer: Ricardo Tavares
elevation: 1000 meters above sea level
varietal: Yellow Catuai
The aroma of the coffee is surprisingly subdued, considering that it’s a natural. A lot of times with naturals you get big fruit bombs; this aroma is definitely livelier than a fully washed Brazil, but it’s not a fruit bomb by any means. It’s more sugary, with sweet scents of milk chocolate and citrus.
The flavor of the coffee mirrors its nose; for a naturally processed coffee, it’s a relatively mellow cup. It’s certainly more dynamic than a standard low-elevation, fully washed Brazilian coffee, but it’s not an explosive, juicy fruit bomb. It’s a medium-bodied coffee and it’s mouthfeel has a unique duality to it; it’s at once both smooth and creamy on the tongue, while a juicy rush of citrus acidity flows in over the top and sides of the mouth. Decadent flavors of milk chocolate, nougat, marshmallow and almond are the most forward—I’m basically drinking a Snickers bar. Then there’s that sharp, juicy clementine acidity that flows all the way through a clean finish.
The Brazil Primavera is a stellar offering from the folks at Ferris Coffee and Nut—one that challenges your preconceptions about what a Brazilian is and can be.
*content courtesy of Ally Coffee
What were your thoughts of this one? Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome! Feel free to enter a comment below.
UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, ALL PRODUCTS REVIEWED ARE UNSOLICITED SUBMISSIONS FROM THE PRODUCT MANUFACTURER.
Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.