Brazil: Daterra Twilight - Lo Caf Reserve - Aramosa/Laurina
In the cup: With varietals that are naturally lower in caffeine than arabica this is a sweet cup, with biscuity notes of shortbread, milk chocolate and pecan against a soft, fruity background.
Cupping Score: 89
Mouthfeel: Round, creamy.
Varietals: Aramosa & Laurina
Process: Pulped Natural
Producer: Daterra Farm
Altitude: 1200 meters above sea level
Falling within Brazil's famous Cerrado that makes up nearly 23% of the entire country, Daterra are the world's first grade A rainforest certified farm of any business, and a walk around the trees will reveal a stunning array of birds and wildlife, from toucans and burrowing owls to squirrel monkeys and maned wolves. Over 60% of the land they own is given over to nature reserves. The farm itself is split into many lots, each with a designated agronomist to care for the particular varietal and aspect each lot defines. With over 100 different varieties on their farms, development is tracked and planting paired with appropriate varietal.
Aramosa: The Aramosa varietal is a crossbreed between Coffeea Arabica and Coffeea Racemosa – an heirloom Coffeea species. The Aramosa beans usually present floral aromatics and a lower caffeine content than regular Arabica beans. Coffea racemosa is a lesser known species of coffee, one of over 120 Coffea species, similar to Coffea arabica. Racemosa is endemic to the coastal forest belt between northern Kwa-Zulu Natal and Mozambique, found growing wild in the coastal forests north of Lake St Lucia. Suited for the local climate, this coffee species is hardy, drought resistant, and resilient (it can withstand up to nine months in drought, and grows in even sandy soils).
Coffea racemosa is most well known trait is its naturally low levels of caffeine, less than half of arabica, and a quarter of robusta coffee.
Laurina: The Laurina cultivar is a natural mutation of the world’s most important cultivar, Bourbon. Your regular Arabica coffee is usually about 1.6% caffeine, while Laurina is – at most – usually 0.6%. Caffeine is part of the coffee’s natural defenses against pests. As a poison, it’s effective in persuading the nasties to stay away.
Because of its unique vulnerability, Laurina almost went extinct, with very few farmers willing to take the risk in growing it. Fortunately, a few farms and cooperatives kept it alive and growing. It wasn’t until 2002 when a farmer by the name of Edgardo Alpizer found a lone Laurina on his farm in Costa Rica and decided to begin planting it. Edgardo’s planting led to a global resurgence in Laurina.