|REGION||CERRADO MINEIRO, MINAS GERAIS, SAO GOTARDO|
|GROWN BY||EDSON TAMEKUNI AT VARGEM GRANDE FARM|
|VARIETIES||RED AND YELLOW CATUAI|
|TASTE NOTES||CINNAMON TOAST, RASPBERRY JAM, PINKY SWEAR|
|SENSORY||BIG, COATING, NUTTY OILY, JAMMY, DARK AND TART RED FRUITS, TOGETHERNESS, PROMISES KEPT|
|IMPORTER||CROP TO CUP|
Brazil may be the highest-volume coffee-producing country on the planet, but it wasn’t so long ago that you’d be hard-pressed to see it on a specialty menu. Admittedly, its reputation for producing nutty, mellow coffee without a whole lot happening made sense — the vast majority came from large, flat, low-elevation estates favoring efficiency-oriented machinery over detail-oriented teamwork. And as much as we dislike big-picture generalizations about how certain countries’ coffees taste, the fact is that it was very tricky to find exceptions to the rule for quite some time.
Thankfully, them days are over. Here at TC, we’ve been living and loving the exquisite-Brazilian-coffee lifestyle for years. Thanks to our importing partners at Crop to Cup and their facilitation of a deep, long-standing relationship with Aequitas (the exporting and on-the-ground team in Brazil), names like Yuki, Marcelo, Maria Soraia, and Edson have become staples of our roster. This particular lot is our third season representing Mr. Tamekuni, a fellow we had the wonderful experience of meeting ~one thousand years ago (in 2019).
Edson is among a number of 30-somethings in Minas Gerais who has taken the responsibility of running his family’s farm, discovering that its coffees are worthy of the specialty market despite having sold them as commodity coffee for many years. Since then, Edson has tirelessly piled accolades onto the family name. He won the Cup of Excellence in 2016, was an Illy Award finalist in both 2016 and 2017, earned first place in the Minas Gerais Coffee Quality Awards’ “natural” category, and on and on and on.
So how the heck does he do it? Well, unfortunately for those crossing fingers for a secret shortcut to greatness, it’s by being deeply involved in every detail of his operation. As our pals at Crop to Cup put it — “he sees himself as owner, manager, and employee. He’s in charge of coffee plantation inputs management, harvesting, post-harvesting, lot formation, and coffee delivery at the coop.” Details may be where the devil is, but it’s also where the triumph is born, and we truly love to see it.