Episode 696

Full of biscuit and brown sugar, this coffee is an easy drinking delight, with just a hint of currants and dried apricot coming in on the finish.

This farm and its coffee sparked a massive change in what we thought we knew about coffee. The first time we ever cupped coffee from Cachoeira time stood still as the cup opened our minds to what great coffee is and can be. Gabriel de Carvalho Dias, the farmer, continues to produce great coffee year after year, and this farm holds a very special place in the hearts of everyone at Hasbean.

Gabriel is one of Brazil’s leading agronomists. His family owns several farms, all of which border one another. Fazenda Cachoeira da Grama is 417 hectares (4 square km) in size and while that may sound huge, it’s not uncommon for farms to be more than 1,000 hectares in Brazil.

Because of the mountainous terrain, however, only 64 hectares are planted with coffee, and it's all picked and maintained by hand. The mill is located close to the spa town of Poços de Caldas, which is 45 minutes away from the farm.

Fazenda Cachoeira da Grama has been in the Carvalho Dias family since 1890. It's located in São Paolo state, just three miles from the border with Minas Gerais state. It enjoys the typical characteristics of the mountainous Mogiana and Sul de Minas regions, and is located between 1,100 and 1,250 metres above sea level.

The farm has a school, a club and a full-sized football field for the employees and workers, and 47 houses – all with modern facilities. The wastewater is treated in order to avoid polluting the stream that runs across the farm. The farm has a small hydroelectric plant, and the farmers only buy energy during the peak harvest.

As well as providing support to the workers, the family have also invested in the farm's coffee processing facilities and this has allowed them to produce consistently delicious coffees year after year. They grow mostly Yellow Bourbon, but also Canario (this lot) and Mundo Novo. It's well-established plant stock, and some of the original Bourbon varietal trees are over 100 years old.

They’ve also invested in trying new things, including planting some new varietals and trialling new fermentation experiments with the involvement of experts from the University of Lavras (UFLA) in Minas Gerais.

The Carvalho Dias family consider social and environmental sustainability to be very important. The farm has a programme of planting native species of trees to maintain a better ecological balance.

This comes from the rather rare Canario varietal, which is a Bourbon mutation that originated in Brazil. You can find out more about it here, but what you will notice in the cup is that it adds complexity and a little acidity when compared to the Bourbon varietal.

Full of biscuit and brown sugar, this coffee is an easy drinking delight, with just a hint of currants and dried apricot coming in on the finish.

  • Country: Brazil
  • State: São Paulo
  • Municipality: São Sebastião da Grama
  • Farm: Fazenda Cachoeira da Grama
  • Producers: Lidolpho de Carvalho Dias and family
  • Processing: Natural
  • Varietal: Canario
  • Altitude: 1,100–1,250 m.a.s.l.


Biscuit, brown sugar, currants, dried apricot

  • Clean cup: (1–8): 6
  • Sweetness: (1–8): 7
  • Acidity: (1–8): 6
  • Mouthfeel: (1–8): 7
  • Flavour: (1–8): 6.5
  • Aftertaste: (1–8): 6.5
  • Balance: (1–8): 6
  • Overall: (1–8): 6.5
  • Correction (+36): +36
  • Total (max. 100): 87.5

Roast Information
Medium to medium-dark - through first crack and keep pushing through the gap towards second before finishing the roast. Don't expect much noise from this, so judging the gap can be tricky.