High gusts, rocky crags, low altitude—there are those who hold the conventional wisdom that says Serra Do Bone (literally “Saw Tooth” in Portuguese) isn’t any kind of place to grow coffee. They also say you shouldn’t preserve half of your land as rain forest, and that a Brazilian brew is bound to taste like a musty pile of peanut shells.
Well, between you and me, I think those people are dummies.
Luckily, Carlos Sergio Sanglard, who grows some of Brazil’s best on these wild lands, believes differently. Carlos is the producer of Serro Do Bone, and possibly one of the most talented organic coffee farmers in Brazil.
Carlos is committed to high quality prep starting with picking ripe cherry, and drying coffees on raised African-style drying beds. Of Serra Do Bone’s 160 hectares of land (395 acers), 73 hectares have been preserved as native rain forest while the rest is used to produce this amazing coffee.
Carlos has proven that great coffee can grow on a crag, and that Brazilian beans can be just as nuanced as the finest African coffees. This coffee is one of the dozens that Temple Coffee has converted to direct trade within the past year.
Their team went to exhaustive lengths, including cupping over 100 samples, to bring you this Brazilian gem.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Brazil Serro Do Bone, from Temple Coffee in Sacramento, California, courtesy of Craft Coffee. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Araponga, Matas De Minas, Brazil
farm: Serro Do Bone
producer: Carlos Sergio Sanglard
elevation: 1200 meters above sea level
process: pulped natural, raised bed dried
The aroma of the Serro Do Bone is soft and genteel, but warm and inviting. It’s a confectioner’s delight! Very pleasant aromatics of chocolate, honey, brown sugar, walnut, and freshly-baked pumpernickel bread.
The first few sips of this coffee present my palate with a smooth, buttery texture and beautiful flavors of raw cocoa nibs, brown sugar, and bakers spices.
As it cools, there is a brief transitional phase that which displays a really unique lemon-lime flavor and acidity bubbles up. I’d say that this coffee is a lot like Sprite or 7 Up, but I actually think it tastes much more like a gin and tonic with a twist of lime.
Closer to room temperature, the coffee becomes more fuller-bodied as notes of black cherry, plum, currant, marzipan, cinnamon raisin bread, and a long, lingering honey and walnut finish.
Medium body; complex mouthfeel; lemon-lime acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
What a unique, dynamic, complex, but, moreover, delectable cup of coffee!
The Brazil Serro Do Bone, from Temple Coffee, presented my palate with a lot of really interesting flavors and an engaging experience, overall, as this coffee evolved continually over the life of the cup. From post-brew to cool-down to room temperature to finish, the Serro Do Bone was practically four different coffees. It was sweet and sugary, it was lemon-limey and tart, it was juicy and fruity, and doughy and nutty.
I really enjoy coffees that every bit as delicious as they are complex; they appeal to the coffee lover and the coffee geek in me simultaneously. And, I’ve gotta tell ya, this coffee really did it for me.
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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.