It all starts, of course, with the beans.
And not just any beans, our freshly-roasted, biodynamic coffee beans from renowned supplier DR Wakefield. Ground on-site and served within 24 hours to ensure unbeatable freshness and taste.
It’s a noticeably Brazilian coffee; raspberry and cherry lead the acidity with a molasses quality and intensity also present. The clarity and complexity of this coffee shines as it cools and sweetens.
Baixadao is located in the Mantiqueira de Minas – one of the most award-winning regions in Brazil. In 2011 it applied for recognition as a Geographic Indication (IG), in the Modality Indication of Origin (PGI) for its worldwide reputation for producing speciality coffees with a high quality and unique profile. This is due to be finally granted in full this year.
This coffee is grown on the Baixadao farm (awarded the highest ever Cup of Excellence score in any country in 2015), owned by Sebastião Afonso Da Silva of the Afonso family, who along with his son, brothers, and sisters also take care of Santa Izabel, Santa Terezhina, Santa Martina, and Sao Sebastiao farms.
Growing up around rice farming, Sebastião Afonso da Silva started off with an idea to increase his and his family’s income. Getting just the one hectare in 1996, the farm is now 350 hectares in total with 80ha under coffee and 80ha under forest. The farm uses a zero-cropping methodology with 35% of the farm under this process at any one time.
Zero cropping takes place after harvesting has finished. The tree is stumped or skeletoned – all productive branches are removed but the root system and trunk left intact. The following year on from this, the tree spends all its energy on re-growing branches which will turn into producing branches the next year. This means there is one whole year without any production. The reinvigorated tree produces much more cherry over the next couple of years that mitigates the on/off cycle (as well as the fallow year) and gives a much more consistent output over the farm.
In any normal year they can still be harvesting up until the last day of December. The altitude is very high for Brazil, rising to over 1300masl at points, meaning the maturation is slower and therefore harvesting a bit more spread out. It is from these later lots that they have achieved – twice – the highest ever Cup of Excellence score of any country with 95.18 in 2015.
Yellow Catuai is a cross between Mundo Novo and Caturra from the Instituto Agronomico of Sao Paulo State. It has a small size and grows vigorously allowing it to be planted tightly generating high yields per hectare. Yellow varietals photosynthesise differently to the red allowing for a more gradual maturation of the fruit. This lot was picked on the 9th May, and was dried for 23 days under cover in the greenhouse on the patio.
For our decaffeinated coffee, we chose another highly-rated bean from Dr Wakefield, the SWD Mexico Veracruz.The bean has a predominantly chocolate taste, with a light touch of lime.
In Veracruz state, Mexico, stretching south from the Pico de Orizaba towards Cordoba is the coffee region that grew this decaf. Small scale farmers here own on average 20 hectares of land, too small to house both trees and wetmill facilities, but often on a scale that makes it more impractical to be hand processed on site too. As a consequence, cherry is sold to a larger wetmill designed to provide the solution to this problem, and focusses on delivery times from picking to fermentation tanks as well as ensuring quality of cherry at delivery point.
Cherries once sorted are washed, fermented and cleaned before being drum dried to optimal humidity and shipped to Canada for processing at Swiss Water’s facilities in Vancouver.
To prepare the beans for caffeine removal, they are cleaned and hydrated with pure, local water, the beans are then introduced to an internally developed Green Coffee Extract (GCE), and caffeine removal begins. Caffeine ventures out on its own, away from the coffee beans into the GCE until the ratio of soluble compounds in the GCE to the compounds in the coffee reach the point of equilibrium. Caffeine and GCE flow continuously through carbon filters until all the caffeine is trapped and separated from the GCE, which is refreshed so that it can be used again and again to remove more caffeine. The process is monitored for around 10 hours and caffeine levels checked as well as time, and gauge temperature controls, until the coffee is 99.9% caffeine free.
But the early starts grinding our own beans aren’t the only thing that makes our coffee special, the water we use is also critical as we strive to serve the best coffee for miles around…
PristineHydro filtered water
Our coffee is made using only the purest water, courtesy of our in-house filtration system from PristineHydro that uses a 10-stage process developed in Orange Country, California to provide some of the healthiest, purest H²O around!
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