“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most”
– Fyodor Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment)
Whether you fear it, welcome it, run from it or embrace it – it will come one way or the other. And while people may be wary or reluctant of it, change does bring about good things – one of which is the coffee we feature today: Starbucks Reserve Brazil IP Estate.
It has been quite a while since I got to taste a Starbucks Reserve coffee from Brazil, the last one being Starbucks Reserve Brazil Sertão Yellow Bourbon. Coincidentally, this coffee comes from one of the fazendas or farms under the Sertão group, the Fazenda Isidro Pereira (IP Estate).
Coming from the same area of Carmo de Minas in Minas Gerais region of Brazil, the IP Estate is named after Jose Isidro Pereira, who with his wife Nazareth Dias Pereira are some of the pioneers of coffee agriculture in the Carmo de Minas region. Currently, the farm is owned by Luis Paolo Dias Pereira, one of the sons of Isidro and Nazareth.
Like several of the fazendas under the Sertão group, IP Estate grows the Yellow Bourbon varietal, which is known for its exceptionally sweet and refined cup quality. However, the difference of this coffee we feature today is that it was processed using the fully washed method.
For our tasting today, we chose to use the siphon brewing method to highlight the nutty characteristics of the coffee.
The initial dry aroma of the coffee is predominantly nutty, with slight hints of dry hazelnuts. The aroma is quite familiar- nutty as a lot of washed coffees from Latin America- yet also very distinctly hazelnut which brought to our minds Nutella.
The washed process may not really be something new for us, but not in Brazil where the natural method (and its variations) are the more commonly used methods. The washed method necessitates the heavy use of water, as well as equipment to facilitate the pulping and other various steps of the process.
This was the change that Luis Paolo had to take – investing heavily in new equipment and structures to support the washed method- over continuing the decades old tradiions of processing coffee. With the stellar reputation of the coffees of the Sertão group on his shoulders, he chose to take that step in a new direction, hoping that this change will also result in an equally exceptional cup of coffee.
So did he succeed?
From the fruity plums and honey like sweetness of the pulped natural yellow bourbon, we now get straightforward toasted hazelnut aroma. Upon slurping, the intense flavors of hazelnut and cocoa in the siphon brewed IP Estate really hit the middle of the tongue. The brew is still fairly sweet, as is the characteristic of the yellow bourbon variety. Once the palate has adjusted to the flavors, subsequent sips now allow us to appreciate a bit more of its juicy acidity which is similar to the first juicy bites of an apple.
The tasting we did was hosted by aspiring Coffee Master Hannah, and she chose to pair the coffee with apple slices drizzled with chocolate sauce, chocolate bit and ground nuts.
When we tried Brazil IP Estate with the V60 Pour Over, the aroma was sweeter and the acidity was a bit more crisp. Brewed using the Chemex, the body became more noticeable and had the juicy mouthfeel of a red apple.
Since we are also on the topic of change, here’s is something new: Starbucks Reserve Shakerato Bianco Deconstructed featuring Starbucks Reserve Brazil IP Estate.
Brewed using the Victoria Arduino VA 388 Black Eagle Gravitech, the nutty and sweet characteristics of this coffee are highlighted. Mix it with a bit of chocolate sauce to get that chocolate hazelnut decadence that you will definitely love.
So, change doesn’t seem so bad right?
Starbucks Reserve Brazil IP Estate is available for a limited amount of time in Starbucks Reserve stores in the Philippines.
Starbucks Reserve Shakerato Bianco Deconstructed is exclusively available in Starbucks Reserve Podium Expansion Wing (Ortigas Center), Starbucks Reserve Powerplant Mall Level 1 (Rockwell Makati) and Starbucks Reserve The Stratosphere Building (Salcedo Village Makati).