DO BRASIL Coffee has several types of specialty beans in stock in Amsterdam. The property of our partner Elvira Alice, owner of Fazenda Recanto do Lobo Guará in Alfenas – Minas Gerais, is where everything happens, and it is where DO BRASIL Coffee’s heart is at.
At each harvest we select specialty coffees to be sold in Europe, providing samples so that specialty coffee roasters can try them and thus place their orders for the coffees we have in stock and/or those that are still on the farm. Together we are creating more and more.
There are many varieties of the Arabica coffee plant. The most common in the best Brazilian producing regions are: Bourbon, Catuaí, Acaiá and Mundo Novo. And, among these varieties, there are also several sub-varieties: Yellow and Red Bourbon, Yellow and Red Catuaí, and Mundo Novo varieties.
The beans of the Bourbon variety are placed among the best in the world for the production of specialty coffees. This is because they produce a soft, low acidity and medium body product, with marked sweetness and chocolatey notes, which come to resemble roasted cereals and hazelnuts. Therefore, this coffee offers excellent pairing with chocolates.
Although these traits are shared by both Yellow and Red Bourbon, sensory analyzes conducted in controlled environments show that Yellow varietal has a higher concentration of compounds that impart sweetness and a lower amount of oxalic acid, which makes for a softer drink.
With the growth of the specialty coffee market, it has experienced a rapid gain in popularity around the world, for bringing much desired characteristics to the final drink, with the most striking sweetness among different varieties.
Today, this variety is produced in the Mogiana region and in Minas Gerais, at altitudes between 1,000 and 1,400 meters above sea level.
The history of Catuaí, considered the first man-made Arabica, began with geneticist Alcides de Carvalho. A researcher at the Campinas Agronomic Institute (IAC), in 1949, he crossed two Arabica varieties: Novo Mundo and Caturra. The Catuaí variety is a 100% Brazilian product. That’s right!
But only in the second half of the last century, more precisely in 1972, after 23 years of research and testing, the catuaí was officially launched on the market. There, he started an upward trajectory in the world of specialty coffees.
The name catuaí means “very good” in Tupi-Guarani
In the cup, both yellow and red fruit have characteristics in common: they tend to be light and smooth, with medium acidity. The flavour is clearly sweet and not very full-bodied. But there are differences, however subtle.
Yellow Catuaí coffee is somewhat less full-bodied than its red fruit brother. According to lineage specificities, Yellow Catuaí coffees can present different notes of caramel and banana, for example. In summary, Yellow Catuaí is softer, more delicate.
Red, on the other hand, thanks to the process of genetic manipulation in which it was created, has more body and a more pronounced flavour. On the palate, it provides a more striking experience with more personality.
Resulting from a natural crossing between the Sumatra and Red Bourbon varieties, Mundo Novo was discovered in the city of Mineiros do Tietê, in 1952.
Science enters this part of the story. The seeds of one of these coffee trees were planted in the municipality of Mundo Novo (which today bears the name Urupês), São Paulo.
There, researchers from Embrapa selected the parent plants that created the Mundo Novo variety – a reference to the city where it was developed.
Soon, the plants proved to be resistant and productive in the field. In view of the high performance, Embrapa bet on the varietal, multiplied the seeds and distributed the Mundo Novo coffee to the market. Since then, the variety has been one of the main productions of Arabica in the country, along with Catuaí.
The variety is a good example of the importance of scientific research in the development of new plants and also of the market: both Mundo Novo and Catuaí coffee, great varieties of national coffee culture, derive from the genetic improvement program of the Agronomic Institute of Campinas (IAC), entity that is part of Consórcio Pesquisa Café.
It is considered one of the best varieties for producing gourmet coffees. Its intense aroma, softness, chocolatey texture and sweet taste give unique characteristics. However, it is worth remembering that soil, climate, altitude and drying processes are essential to maximize all these characteristics.
The plants reach up to 3 meters in height presenting a cylindrical shape. The fruits have the same shape as ordinary coffee, but with a reduced size. Its productivity is lower when compared to other commercial varieties. It is very susceptible to pests and diseases.
It is a light and smooth coffee with medium acidity. One of the few that can be taken without sugar. Planted at higher altitudes, they provide a more pronounced flavour, allowing the coffee bean to absorb natural sugars with greater intensity during its maturation process. For this reason, plantations at altitudes above 1,000 meters have the best flavours. Yellow Catuaí is less full-bodied than the Red. Therefore, depending on the desired flavour, a blend that includes both may be more satisfactory.
The coffee crops Catuaí Vermelho (Red) and Catuaí Amarelo (Yellow) have been preferred by Brazilian producers, occupying a large part of the coffee area in most of the producing regions. They have the advantages of low plant size, which facilitates treatment and harvesting. They also show less damage due to rust attack, a fungus quite common in arabica coffee plants. Catuaí, which means “very good”, lives up to its name, as it is very rustic. It adapts very well in medium temperatures, in the range of 18 – 22º C, found in high lands above 800 m of altitude.
Mundo Novo has a sweet and striking flavour. Medium body, intense roasting fragrance and medium acidity.
It has aromas of caramel and milk chocolate.
The fruits have good maturity uniformity due to the 3 blossoms. With the first producing 10%, the second 80% and the last 10%. This provides excellent quality coffee, due to the low percentage of green beans obtained in the harvest.