Hamilton isn’t exactly what I would think of as a Brazilian last name, and this coffee wasn’t what I usually associate with Brazil, either! Today’s coffee comes to us from Brazil by way of Cincinnati’s Deeper Roots Coffee. I’ve been digging their Alchemy Espresso for the last few weeks and this Joao Hamilton from Brazil was a big surprise! Unfortunately (for us), Deeper Roots seem to have sold out of this coffee between the time I received my samples and the posting of this review. Dang! That being said, you can find the cached page for this coffee here, and Deeper Roots have replaced the Joao Hamilton with another Brazilian natural that sounds awesome in its own right, too. You can find that coffee for $16.50/12oz bag here.
Joao Hamilton is the owner of Sitio Canaa. In 2006, Joao and his brother, Ivan, began working with Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza to focus on organic, sustainable growing methods and better processing and drying practices. Joao saw an improvement in the farm and plants as well as the quality of his coffee. Joao’s farm is near the town of Caconde in the state of Sao Paulo. The varietal for this coffee is Red Bourbon, grown in the 1200-1240masl range. It’s a natural processed coffee, so we can expect some fruity sweetness from the cup and that’s exactly what I got!
I’ll say it right off the bat: I am pretty biased against Brazilian coffees. I’ve had a couple of really bad ones, completely underroasted/unroasted by the people responsible for them, and that turned me off from Brazils about two years ago. When I started roasting my own coffee a few years ago I loved a Brazilian natural I got from Sweet Marias, but you get nailed with one or two super, super underroasted coffees and it leaves its mark! Traumatized!
Based on how much I liked Deeper Roots’ Alchemy Espresso, though, I was excited to try this one and it did not disappoint. Deeper Roots give us tasting notes of, “ripe strawberry, cinnamon, semi-sweet chocolate” for this selection. I found this coffee to have nice, medium body and a mild aftertaste. The dry fragrance in the bag and from the grounds was awesome, and a lot of that made it into the cup, too. Overall this is a pretty straightforward and simple cup. I picked up notes of strawberry and raspberry. The perceived acidity was low, as Brazilians are often known for, but there was a nice berry-like tartness just like I’d expect from strawberries and raspberries, so this was not a dull or lifeless coffee by any stretch. There was a fruity sweetness to this coffee, too, and I found it both clean and balanced. I got a bit of ferment from the processing, but I actually like that. I picked up on some perfumey floral notes in some sips and in the aftertaste, too. Very subtle, but they added some complexity and they were really nice complements to the fruity flavors in the cup.
My only regret with this coffee is that I wasn’t able to post the review soon enough for you to get your hands on it, but based on this experience with how Deeper Roots roasted the Joao Hamilton, I would be all over the current Brazilian natural from them!