Article: Pre-ground for Batch Brew

Dark chocolate, maple, raisin 

Article is the name of our house coffee, a high performing, consistent blend offering reliability and a satisfying, classic flavour profile. Components are seasonally refreshed and roasted to accentuate deeper caramels and chocolate tones.  

With each iteration we aim to compose a coffee that has great balance, packed with classic coffee characteristics whilst retaining a sweet, clean finish.

Current Composition:

50% Washed Typica, Caturra & Bourbon from the Cusco region of Peru.
50% Pulped natural Acaiá from the Mococa region of Brazil.

Component Information:

Fazenda São Domingos, Brazil

Owned by Marco Guardabaxo & Maria Silva, Fazenda São Domingos is located in the hills of Mococa (Mogiana), in the north of São Paulo State in Brazil, and was established in the 1960s. The terrain at altitudes between 810 to 1,100 metres allows the cultivation of different varieties of coffee (Yellow Catuai, Catucai, Obatã, Acaiá, Arara & Rubi) on the flat plains of the farm, with the cultivation of eucalyptus trees on the slopes. Between the rows they sow a mixture of seeds for ground cover crops, including Buckwheat, Turnip Forage, Rattlepods, Millet, Brachiaria Ruziziensis and Congo Grass. The farm has 80 hectares of conservation and preservation land.

The farm has a complete wet and dry milling infrastructures, with modern technology, giving the farm the possibility to execute a varied range of processing methods. Throughout the fields, drip-irrigation systems have been installed to ensure uniform irrigation of the trees and thus consistent quality. All young trees up to the age of 6 years or a size of less than 1.5 meters are harvested manually, the older trees are harvested mechanically, but still selectively. This selective harvesting is usually done in two passes. In the first harvesting phase, the machines are adjusted to reach only the outermost point of the coffee plant, where the fruit normally ripens first. In the second pass, it is then adjusted to harvest the remaining fruit. Varieties are kept separate, with this lot being comprised of 100% Acaiá coffee.

At Fazenda São Domingos there is a total of about 9,000 square metres of drying terraces where the seeds are dried for between 10 and 15 days. They are then finished off in 8 dryers to achieve the ideal residual moisture. For storage, 8 wooden silos with a capacity of about 2,500 bags are available. In these silos, the coffee usually spends 4-6 weeks before it is later moved to a warehouse for dry-milling.

We have spent the last couple of years invigorating and revising our Brazilian sourcing program and are very pleased to be working with Ocafi to secure lots which are not only delicious, but chime with our sourcing values and ethos.

Training is provided which makes for safer working conditions as well as career development for both permanent and seasonal employees on Ocafi’s own farms as well as those they partner with to build regional blends. They run in-house training sessions as well as contribute funds and coffee to a local social project called Fazedores de Café in the São Paulo area, which supports young people from socially and economically vulnerable backgrounds to learn barista skills and about the coffee industry.

Via the Mata Atlãntica project, Ocafi are planting thousands of native trees on their own fazendas, to maintain local flora and fauna as well as improve soil health and biodiversity. Purchases of this lot specifically have funded 90 trees being planted on Fazenda Pinheiro, of around 2,000 planted last year. Each farm working with Ocafi maintains a dedicated nature reserve and conservation area. This again goes a long way to support local plant and wildlife. They are also developing agronomical practices such as intercropping and allowing ground cover crops to flourish between rows of coffee trees. They are looking at introducing particular funghi to combat coffee berry borer and to facilitate effective decomposition of organic matter on the ground which will improve and support soil fertility with less reliance on synthetic inputs.

It is our second year working with this farm and when making selections from the latest harvest we found the same variety and processing combination to be the most delicious.  

Salkantay, Peru

This year we have expanded our sourcing approach in Peru to encompass a broader range of flavours and profiles. Cusco is still our primary area of focus, but we have also taken lots from Cajamarca in the North and Puno all the way in the South-East of the country. There are several community coffees from Cusco that we will feature in our house blends this season, and we are really happy to have been able to find this beautiful coffee from the municipality of Santa Teresa to feature in our Article blend.

On the cupping table when we first tasted lots from the agricultural co-operative group called Huadquiña they all impressed us with great structure, sweetness and clarity of flavour. This particular coffee from Salkantay is the result of a combined effort from various small-scale coffee producers with farms of only around 1-2 hectares in size. Mixed cultivars of Typica, Caturra and Bourbon are grown up to altitudes of 2,000 metres amidst a wealth of biodiversity. The growers working with the Huadquiña co-operative are working organically and harvesting is all done via Mingas (communal work reciprocated amongst neighbours). Coffee trees are tended to organically, with each producer applying homemade compost and manually clearing away weeds. The farms themselves are located in the La Convención province, ranging from around 1,800 to 2,000 metres. After harvesting the coffees are manually depulped before being traditionally fermented in water for up to 20hrs, fully washed and dried on raised beds for between 10 and 20 days.