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Brazil Sweet Yellow Rainforest

September 2, 2005
Jim Schulman

This is the "sweet yellow," of Daterra farm made from pulp natural processed yellow bourbon. Daterra farm has caused a large stir the past two years due to the high quality of its coffees, along with its Rainforest and Utz Kapeh certifications. Daterra is well on the way to becoming a coffee brand name. I earlier reviewed the estate blend of 80% Icatu and 20% Bourbon that George Howell uses for his espresso, how does this coffee stack up? I initially roasted it to a City roast for cupping, then re-roasted it to a "start of the rolling second" Full City roast for espresso.

At a City roast, this bean cups very much like a generic Central American, with malted grains, apple and citrus flavors. While the cup is clean and pleasant, it is hardly anything earthshaking. Hans Becker, of Coffee Maria, the suburban Chicago craft roaster whose coffees frequently appear on Ken David's Coffee Review site, initially sent me this coffee at a dark Vienna/French roast. I found the roast extremely impressive, since it remained sinfully sweet and had no ashiness at all -- no mean feat for any coffee at this level, never mind a Brazil. Given this experience, I decided to reroast it full city. At this roast, there is just enough apple acidity to keep it interesting as an espresso shot; while the roast flavors are toasted almonds with a pleasantly sweet and mild turpeny dark roast note. The cup seems to get sweeter at darker roasts. This coffee makes a very nice straight espresso and short cappuccino, in the laid back Italian style. It isn't as aromatic as the Terroir Daterra, but it has better roast flavors. For American tastes it might work even better in a blend at about 70% with about 30% of a central Bourbon to add a little muscle without distorting the fine taste balance.

Dry fragrance: 3.5
Wet Aroma: 3.5
Flavor: 8.0
Finish: 7.5
Acidity: 7.0
Body: 8.0
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 87.5

  • Lighter Roasts: Not recommended, since it's very generic at this roast.
  • Darker Roasts: At Full City, apple over fine toasted almonds and turpeny.
  • As Espresso: Understated and pleasant, in the Italian style, straight. Will make an excellent blend base for Central Bourbons.


UPDATED: June 27, 2005