Our September specials debut this afternoon. It seems that September is the month of layers which does make sense, I suppose.
From Jeremy, we have Cursed Numbers (4 8 15 16 23 42): Layers of crushed canteloupe, lemon-cinnamon creme fraiche and espresso.
From Grant, White Tiger: Espresso layered between coconut milk and mango foam, served with candied ginger.
These, as well as the rest of our espresso menu will be made with our new house espresso: Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza from Mococa, Brazil. Here is a description courtesy of Counter Culture Coffee.
One of the things that inspires us most is when independent minded farmers stand up for flavor and sustainability, in defiance of the agro-industry that threatens to turn everything into inexpensive, commoditized food. Here we have one of those stories.
The country of Brazil is the “big coffee” capital of the world. Producing more coffee than any other country by far, Brazil produces most of its coffee on giant, technified farms producing cheap coffee destined for supermarket cans and generic blends. The farms maximize their output using “conventional” techniques of chemical fertilization, mechanical harvesting, and monoculture. Besides being environmentally unsustainable, those coffees are bland, insipid and tasteless. Not our kind of coffee.
All this makes it all the more heroic when, amidst the biggest coffee economy in the world, a farm dedicates itself to tradition, flavor, and environmentalism. Enter Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza—a farm dedicated to diversity and sustainability in farming. “Fortaleza” refers to strength and power, but can also mean “fortress,” and “Ambiental” means environmental, so the farm’s very name declares its mission as a force of environmental sustainability, and acknowledges the power of nature itself. Under the leadership of Marcos Croce and Silvia Baretta, this farm is a group effort—incorporating vegetable, dairy, honey, and food farming along with community development, education, and simple enjoyment of a beautiful agricultural environment. Ambiental Fortaleza grows its coffee under shade, a very unusual practice in Brazil, but which we recognize as producing particularly flavorful coffee along with the benefits of wildlife preservation, water conservation, and carbon sequestration. Immediately upon meeting Marcos Croce, and hearing him talk passionately about the benefits of shade growing and environmental preservation, we knew this was a very special coffee farm.
And, as we learn over and over again, a healthy, happy, diverse farm will make the most delicious produce. So it is with Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza; the coffees are delicious, sweet, and full of unique Brazilian character. It’s rare to find a Brazilian coffee with this much personality and flavor; it’s no surprise that it comes from this rarest of Brazilian farms. It’s the first Brazilian coffee we’ve ever featured as a Single-Origin Espresso, and we’re so proud to be associated with the farm and to drink this delicious coffee.
Here’s how head roaster Tim Hill likes this coffee: a 1.5 ounce extraction using 19 grams of coffee and water at 198-199 degrees. An extraction time of 27 seconds gave us delectable flavors of roasted nut, a candy-like sweetness, and subtler notes of stone fruit, chocolate, and spice. Brazilian Naturals are often known for their body, and this coffee shows us a deeply creamy, satisfying body.