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Scenery Coffee

Brazil - Gilcimar Spavier [23/24]

Brazil - Gilcimar Spavier [23/24]

A return to a producer we launched the roastery with, Gilcimar Spavier is quality focused and consistent. The geographical and climatic  conditions in Montanhas do Espírito Santo delay cherry maturation, lend themselves to smallholder farming, and allow producers to do washed-process coffees that hold a level of acidity, complexity and depth similar to those grown several hundred metres higher in acidity. This washed Catucaí 785 is a stunner and emblematic of the unique profile of coffees in this region. 

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Brew Guide:

Best Brewed with: Filter

We’re roasting this as light as is appropriate for a coffee like this - lower altitude and washed means it still needs a touch more development, but we can still keep it very light to keep the brightness and complexity at their max. 

Best rested for 2-3 weeks

Filter: 60g/L and 96c Water

Espresso: 18g, 45g, 28-32s.

We're tasting:
Aromas of rich red fruit (plum, cherry, and apple) alongside hazelnut and brown sugar. In the cup there’s a bright note of redcurrant supported by milk tea and cashew butter. As it cools the acidity becomes more plush and present, with the soft florality of blossom honey.


Country of Origin:
Castelo, Espírito Santo
Sitio Bateia
Gilcimar Spavier
Catucaí 785
1020 - 1200 MASL

Washed: Ripe cherries hand picked, floated and pulped with a 12 hour wet ferment. 

Mucilage washed off before drying slowly on raised beds in Parabolic driers. A rarely seen process in Brazil.

Import Partner:
Crop 23/24, Arrived UK: May 2024

The Story

Despite the emphasis on impact and sustainability in specialty coffee, small roasteries like ours face limitations in buying power - the ability to commit to life changing amounts of coffee. However, we can still make a meaningful impact by focusing on two key aspects of sourcing. First, we prioritise purchases that offer both high social impact and high added and retained value for producers. Second, we believe in being committed clients and returning to the same producers wherever and whenever possible, rather than a scattershot approach to sourcing; always seeking novelty at all costs and damn the consequences. 

Showing the proof in the pudding, we have returned within a year to the same producers we launched with - with Gilcimar's coffee completing the set. We made the commitment early to purchase his coffee, facilitated via Osito, and we're glad we did. Brazil has a burgeoning internal market for speciality coffee, but with import restrictions on other origins, the clean, bright washed coffees from Espírito Santo represent a significant internal source for differentiated coffees. Gilcimar could very easily sell his coffee internally, and thanks to following through with our sourcing intentions, we were able to secure this delightful lot and with it, UK exclusivity.

Gilcimar Spavier & Espírito Santo:

Gilcimar farms in the state of Espírito Santo, which is located on the South-Eastern coast of Brazil, just north of the state of Rio de Janeiro. Espirito Santo has a combination of factors that make it truly unique for coffee production - it is divided from the state of Minas Gerais by the Serra do Caparaó mountain range (including Brazil’s third highest mountain, Pico da Bandeira). The hilly topography extends down in either side of the Caparao mountains, providing ideal growing conditions for higher quality coffees. But Espirito Santo, being on the Atlantic facing side of the mountains has a climactic advantage - the humidity, cooler sea air and rains delay cherry maturation and allow for more interesting complexity to develop in the fruit. 

But this was not always a feature - the region was previously known for defects and mainly robusta production, due to the issues the humidity and rain would cause in the drying process. The advent of specialty style processing, including parabolic/covered drying tents (think Polytunnels) allowed producers to control the drying process and prevent defects such as mould or rio. Producers in Espirito Santo can even produce washed process coffees with high acidity and complexity, something that is mostly not possible in the majority of coffee production in Brazil (typically, the end result would be very flat, nutty, hollow and simple).

Finally, due to the hilly & steep terrain as well as the history of emigration to the region, the majority of coffee farms in Espirito Santo are smallholder owned, typically 5-20 hectares, and usually run by single families, which means as coffee buyers we can get full traceability as to who has produced our coffee. We’ve chosen a regional blend of Espirito Santo coffees to be the main component in the Facility blend for these reasons. 

Gilcimar is an exemplary example of a producer from this region. He’s quality focused and has won awards for his coffee, and produces consistently excellent coffees, including washed process. He runs his farm with his brother-in-law Jose Fortunado, and is a third generation coffee farmer. 

His farm has 2 plots, one with majority Catuaí and Catucai varieties, and the second with Obata (a Brazilian variety that is a cross between Timor Hybrid and Villa Sarchi, which is both high yielding, disease resistant and has high cup quality). His typical production will be 200 bags of coffee, with 70 reaching speciality grade (and prices) with the remaining 130 being sold on the commercial market. As with many smallholder farmers in the region, it is not a lack of quality that prevents them from selling more of their production as speciality, but the high cost of labour in paying for pickers and lack of available pickers. He separates out each day’s picking and takes samples to the local exporting offices, who will cup the results. He keeps a track of those lots which score higher and careful notes as to what occurred during picking, processing and drying, allowing him to continuously improve, and to sell the higher quality day lots for a better price. 

This lot comes from the first plot, and notably is washed. Gilcimar pulps his coffee, soaks & wet ferments it in a tank for 12 hours before washing. He then dries it slowly on raised African beds in a parabolic drier with controlled ventilation, taking 8 to 12 days ensuring the coffee is stable and that the quality will be preserved. 

Credit for additional farm & producer photography: Osito / Stuart Ritson, Gilcimar Spavier