Barista Magazine

OCT-NOV 2017

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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The Dillanos Coff ee contingent visited with school children, many of whom participate in ChildFund programs, in their classroom. laughing as he explained the Great Cappuccino Challenge to the group. There would be teams of three: One would milk the cow; one would ferry the milk bucket back to the espresso machine; and the third would steam and pour latte art. Did Dean spill a bucket of milk that Steve had just squeezed from a confused cow, so that Steve had to go back and milk the poor girl again? Perhaps. Unlike other coffee competitions, it was unanimously and immediately decided that what happens at a Great Cappuccino Challenge stays at a Great Cappuccino Challenge. Saying goodbye to Nilton and his wonderful family, not to mention their beautiful property, the next morning was sad, but it was time to leave Alta Mogiano behind and see more of what Brazil had to offer. We were headed for Cerrado. Is every place in Brazil's coffee country as magical as what we had seen? Fazenda Barinas, our destination on this day, took our breath away from the fi rst. Our host, Tiago Resende Castro Alves, welcomed us with gusto: We were encouraged to experience the fl avor notes of his coffees via food tastings. In small dishes, we were served caramel, praline, and chocolate to represent one coffee; strawberry, almond, lemon, and chocolate for another, and so forth. After, we were assembled for a presentation on Barinas (though not before Tiago had ser yone who wanted one). He ener- getically shared the story of Barinas, how it began in 1820 when the Tomásia family settled there, but wasn't planted with coffee until 1950; how the family struggled with a heavy frost in 1975 but came back stronger than ever to the extent that Barinas now has a reputation as a leader in quality throughout the famous Cerrado region. We made our way to a greenhouse in the garden for a cupping, and the champs delighted in trying varieties such as T IBC, Acuauá, Obatá, and Yellow Bourbon. After, we feasted, but our full bellies couldn't keep us from hiking out to the patios at sunset. The view of the fi elds far below, washed in the bright colors of a fading sun, silenced even our boisterous group. The next morning, we were in for something especially signifi cant: After leaving our hotel in Patrocíno, we would attend the opening and blessing of the specialty-coffee lab at Cafebras, one of Ally's sister companies. Here we met the celebrated Ricardo Tavares, president of the Grupo Montesanto-Tavares, as well as Eustaquio Miranda, the CEO of Cafebras. The champions were awe-struck by the sophisticat- ed lab, which looked more like a chic, high-end café than a classroom. Hundreds had gathered for the grand opening, and as they wandered through the lab carrying plates of breakfast treats, they watched intently as the coffee champions took turns behind the ma- chine and with the lab's state-of-the-art brewing equipment. All too soon, we were spirited away, once again to an incredible destination. This time, we found ourselves at Fazenda Dois Irmãos, a Cerrado farm making great strides in experimental processing tech- niques. After cupping the various processes, we hacked chunks from a freshly harvested honeycomb, dripping the sumptuous goo across fresh farm cheeses before gobbling them down. This night, a group of producers from Cerrado gathered for a party in the champs' honor in a spectacularly decorated hall. Ricardo introduced his guests to the producers, and the champs prattled on with excitement about the coffees from Cerrado they had particularly enjoyed. On this night, Gianni wasn't the only one dancing into the wee hours. Thank goodness we could nap on the long stretch of travel to Belo Horizonte scheduled for the following day. You get to know people well (really well) when you spend 10 hours in a van with them. Sure, we napped on and off. We even watched terrible movies dubbed in Portuguese on the van's built-in TV. We also talked 41 www.baristamagazine.com

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