“We wake up every day, and some nights, thinking about how we can improve our farm and our coffees. To be honest, we usually dream about it, too.” In a country where large, homogenous lots of commodity-grade coffee are the norm, Paulo Piancastelli’s approach to coffee farming is anything but standard.
But with a farm size of over 200 hectares, and extensive use of high-yielding varieties (mostly IAC-125 and Catuai-62), Paulo fits right in amongst the large commercial coffee estates that litter the large tropical savannas of central Brazil. How is it then that Paulo’s coffees fit snugly on the menus of speciality roasters across North America, rather than being hidden away on grocery store shelves, labelled nothing more than ‘French Roast, ‘House Blend, or, if we’re lucky ‘Brazil’? Well, perhaps it’s the advanced irrigation technology installed throughout the farm. Perhaps it’s the innovative weed and disease management techniques Paulo has adopted. Or perhaps it’s the experimental fermentation and drying processes they have employed on all of their coffees. Perhaps it’s a combination of all of these things, spearheaded by a team of dedicated coffee professionals determined to showcase the best characteristics of coffees from the Cerrado while raising them to a quality level rarely seen in the region.
And this is exactly why we wanted to work with Paulo and his team at Terra Alta. Their commitment to innovation and quality, their respect to their environment, and their aspirations to always be improving inspire our team here at Switchback. And when two groups of coffee professionals, separated only by a few thousand miles, can be inspired together, magic seems to happen. And that’s exactly what we think this coffee is - magic. Structured and round, with elegant red fruit acidity and complex spice notes, there’s no mistaking this for coffee. For this is a coffee lovers coffee, but elevated.