The story of our Dromadaire Cuvée began in 1723. Captain Gabriel de Clieu, with a full crew, set sail from France for Martinique with the Noble Tree, the coffee sapling given to him by King Louis XIV. This Noble Tree became the original coffee plant from which all others are descended today in Central and South America. Captain de Clieu’s ship was christened, Le Dromadaire.
De Clieu managed to protect the Noble Tree while enduring storms, piracy, mutiny and a Dutch spy intent on destroying the sapling. But finally, aboard Le Dromadaire, he arrived safely with the Noble Tree in Martinique. The rest, shall we say, is history.
It is in honor of this ship that we have named our flagship blend. To say the Dromadaire Cuvée is our very own coffee would be a significant understatement. Dromadaire Cuvée is born on our own multi-award-winning farm, Fazenda Monte Verde, in Brazil’s Carmo de Minas region. Monte Verde was one of the first farms in Brazil to employ terracing as well as cutting-edge practices, such as satellite-guided, precision agriculture.
Our own farmers propagate the varietal seedlings, nurse them and plant them in different plots at varying elevations on the farm. We remove the skin from the coffee cherries, leaving the fruity mucilage around the seed and dry it on our patios. The Dromadaire Cuvée Decaf blend achieves a consistently uniform cup with chocolate and hazelnut aromas. In the cup, it translates to flavors of sweet nougat, milk chocolate and hints of pear paired with a substantial body – without the caffeine!
Brazil grows around one-third of the world’s coffee. It has been the world’s largest producer of coffee for over 150 years. Commercial production first began on the Paraiba River, close to Rio de Janeiro, where its proximity to the port helped facilitate export. The first commercial farms were large, slave-driven plantations with a focus on aggressive production, in contrast to the smaller farms that flourished throughout Central America at the time. From 1820 to 1830, coffee flourished in Brazil, creating great wealth for those who controlled its production. They became known as coffee barons and held significant political influence in Brazil. The 1880s through the 1930s gave rise to Brazil’s second coffee boom. At this point the government implemented protectionist practices to help stabilize coffee prices. The government would buy coffee from producers at an inflated price when the market was low, and hold it until the market was high to help stabilize prices. By 1920, Brazil was producing 80 percent of the world’s coffee, which helped to finance a large portion of infrastructure throughout the country. Today, Brazil is the most advanced and industrialized coffee-producing country. The farms (fazendas), with mountainous terrain utilize strip-picking methods, where the entire branch is stripped of its cherries at once. The various levels of ripeness are then sorted during processing. The large flat fazendas will utilize machines that shake the cherries loose from the branches. Brazil’s coffee tends to be lower in acidity, heavy in body, sweet and have a flavor profile of nuts and chocolate. It is often the majority component of espresso blends. Brazil’s reputation for focusing on quantity over quality is slowly starting to change. Specialty producers may pick by hand and grow interesting varieties at higher elevations, leading to very delicious and interesting coffees.